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The Salvation Army
and the LGBTQ Community

The people we serve

Each year, thanks to generous donations, The Salvation Army serves more than 25 million Americans – or one person every second – from a variety of backgrounds. People who come to us for assistance will be served according to their need and our capacity to help – regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

The people we hire

The Salvation Army embraces employees of many different faiths and orientations. Our hiring practices are open to all, and we adhere to all relevant employment laws, providing domestic partner benefits accordingly.

The people who support us

Many people – including those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community – support us with time and financial resources because of a common cause and commitment: To serve people in need.

Client Testimonial

"I called (Harbor Light) and told them everything - that I was on a fixed income, disabled, transgender and trying to get away from my ex. It wasn't even an hour later that they called back and said they'd hold a spot for me. I arrived with nothing but a hope to start my life over and a desire to be strong again. A year and a half later, I was back on my feet. Living there was drama-free and I was never disrespected. They started a community service bug in me that's kept me active to this very day."

—Jacquelynn Massengill, Volunteer and former transitional housing resident, San Francisco, CA

Meet Dooley

Transgender individuals are four times more likely to live in poverty than the general population, with 25% reporting being the victim of a bias-driven assault. The numbers go up for transgender women and transgender people of color. Dooley has been neglected and mistreated a great deal in her life and sums it up by stating, "I've been through Hell. Terrible Hell." Watch Dooley's powerful story.

Additional Reading

A Place to Call Home
"Transgender people face homelessness at a much higher rate than the general public. This shelter offers a safe place."

U.S. News

Salvation Army Insists It's on Our Side—Really
"Those cheerful bell ringers who stand on sidewalks collecting cash and change in their kettles — are they and their 'army' secretly working against LGBT people?"

The Advocate Magazine

Transgender homeless finding more options in Las Vegas
"Bouncing around from Denver to Memphis to Las Vegas, Michael Sumling has struggled with homelessness for many years while trying to get his life in order. At times, being transgender made his options for finding shelter difficult."

Las Vegas Review Journal

Salvation Army speaks out against anti-gay claims
"Along with the usual information about holiday giving, red kettles and bell-ringers, the website for the Salvation Army in Central Ohio features a video defending the charity’s treatment of the LGBT community."

The Columbus Dispatch

Meeting the Need
"The Salvation Army of Dane County faces serious fundraising shortfalls in the wake of bad press internationally, but the local chapter has worked directly with the LGBTQ community for years."

Our Lives, Madison's LGBT&XYZ Magazine

In the Spirit: Gay man recalls kindness shown by Salvation Army
"For 16 years, until his retirement in 2007, Bill Tangney drove a Union Cab in Madison. It was with some of those cab fares still fresh in his mind that he called me."

Wisconsin State Journal

Setting the record straight on the Salvation Army
"Has the Salvation Army changed its stripes? Local activist Sean Sala makes the case that the U.S. organization has."

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

The Salvation Army's response to Australian radio interview
"The Salvation Army in the United States fully and emphatically rejects the statements made by the media director of The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory regarding the LGBT community."

The Salvation Army USA

The Salvation Army and the LGBT Community: A Complicated Relationship
"The Christian group has been hit with complaints for its treatment of LGBT people, but its spokesman says they help everyone."

The Advocate Magazine


Jennifer Byrd, Divisional Director of Communications
(415) 553-3524 | Jennifer.Byrd@usw.salvationarmy.org