STUART, Fla. - The ribbon is cut, and the doors are now open at the Salvation Army's new home in Stuart.
"It just warms your heart to know that we're going to be able to bring some ladies in with their children, or even some single ladies, that literally might be sleeping out in the woods," said Lt. Scott Hoover, with the Salvation Army in Martin County.
The transition from their former location just blocks away was a decade in the making, as various obstacles prevented progress.
"When one door doesn't completely open, there's a reason for it. There's bigger and better things and this facility sure proves that," said Jeff Krauskopf, the Mayor of the city of Stuart.
According to an annual survey by the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council, 306 people, including 148 children, were homeless in January 2011 -- all numbers the Salvation Army in Stuart hopes to change.
"And so we will continue to fight this battle because if we take care of one thing and say this is done, there will be something else for us to do," said Lt. Andrea Cooper, with the Salvation Army in Martin County.
Just because the heavy lifting is over and the ribbon is cut, doesn't mean the work is complete. There are still several staff members that need to be hired in order for the Compassion House to open on it's target deadline of Jan. 1.