On a chilly March afternoon in 1883, a small crowd at the steps of the original Onondaga County Courthouse saw something remarkable. Four young volunteers armed only with hymns and tambourines, proclaimed God’s love. It was the first known Salvation Army activity in Upstate New York, and among the earliest Salvation Army efforts in the United States. In 1898, the “Workmen’s Hotel” was opened and a certificate of incorporation was granted by the State of New York the following year. By the turn of the century, The Salvation Army was well established in Syracuse, providing food and housing to those in need.
Over the years, The Salvation Army has evolved to meet the changing needs of our community, developing innovative programs for children, families, teens and seniors. Today, we serve more than 38,000 people each year through 40 programs in 13 different locations in Onondaga County. The Salvation Army is available 365 days each year to provide a helping hand, without judgement. Our dedicated staff and talented volunteers work together to help each person whose life we touch reach his or her full potential.