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Salvation Army Building New Temporary Housing For Homeless Families

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Salvation Army said it will break ground this Spring on a new building in West Humboldt Park that will provide private rooms for temporary housing for 20 homeless families.

Calling it a launching pad, it's designed to be a place for homeless families to go -- and spend anywhere from 24 hours to 10 days -- until they can get into a family shelter elsewhere in the city. And ultimately, to affordable housing.

Right now, families are processed at the city's intake center at 10 S. Kedzie, which is operated by the Salvation Army.

"They're all in one big open room," said Lieutenant Colonel Charles Smith on the intake center.

Smith, divisional commander of Chicago's Salvation Army, said the new building will have 75 beds in 20 rooms.

"So every family will have their own private room and their own private bathroom. It just provides more dignity and security for those individuals who are finding themselves in the difficulty of homelessness."

The money is coming from a trust gift to the Salvation Army. According to Smith, the money to fund the new building appeared shortly after the city of Chicago asked the Salvation Army to take over emergency homeless assessment and response.

Smith says the new Shield of Hope Center should be ready in the Spring of next year.

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