Hunt family creates permanent endowment for Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas

Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas, 219 W. 15th St., Fayetteville (Flyer Photo/Todd Gill)

The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas this week received a $750,000 permanent endowment from the Hunt family.

The money will help support staff salaries, training, and continuing education, along with the purchasing of operational equipment and other materials needed to shelter homeless people in the region, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the nonprofit organization.

The J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family is behind Lowell-based J.B. Hunt Transport Services, one of the largest freight transportation providers in North America.

“Our philanthropic mission is to help those in need, and The Salvation Army accomplishes that through its extensive work, said Jane Hunt. “I enjoy working with The Salvation Army and am glad that our family can be part of their organization through this gift that will help so many people.”

Annual income generated by the endowment will be used for housing-focused shelter programs, according to the release.

“This critical support will enable The Salvation Army to provide high quality services to the most vulnerable clients, and serve as the best place for respite care for those in the community that need support to obtain housing,” the release stated.

In addition to the endowment, an additional $250,000 was given by Jane Hunt to support growing capacity of staff and resources in the area’s command headquarters and shelter in Fayetteville. The added money will enable organization to retain trained case workers who help find permanent housing for homeless people.

The Salvation Army is currently at work on a major expansion project that will nearly double the capacity of the Fayetteville shelter.

The project will separate the addiction recovery program from the shelter and expand the overall capacity from 26 to 48 total beds. The women’s dorm will grow from eight to 18 beds, the men’s dorm will expand from 12 to 18 beds and the center’s existing family dorms will be converted into two apartments with 10 to 12 beds for families, including private bathrooms and a shared kitchen.

The project also includes an expansion and relocation of the recovery program, the addition of a new computer lab, and an expanded dining area.

“This generous gift from the Hunt family will ensure that the critical work we do at The Salvation Army of Northwest Arkansas continues for generations,” said Nick Garrison, area commander of The Salvation Army. “These funds will allow us to meet the growing needs of the community for those at most risk in Northwest Arkansas.”