Written by The Business Journal Staff
Capt. Dwaine Breazeale
The Salvation Army, Fresno
What we do: The Fresno Citadel Corps offers worship services in both English and Spanish, adult Bible studies, Sunday School, women’s ministries, men’s fellowship, scouting programs for boys and girls, teen activities, beginning brass band, Vacation Bible School, summer camp opportunities and ministry to the Hispanic community.
The Adult Rehabilitation Center serves those with issues of substance misuse, legal problems, relational conflicts, homelessness, unemployment, and most importantly, a need for spiritual awakening and restoration.
We provide utility assistance, eviction prevention, emergency food assistance, commodity distribution and many other services.
Education: Attended Cal State Bakersfield; graduate of Berean School of the Bible and The Salvation Army College for Officer Training at Crestmont in Palos Verdes, Calif.
Family: Wife Debbie and five children
How did you arrive at your position as county coordinator for The Salvation Army Fresno, Dwaine?
Each Salvation Army Officer is assigned a command and responsibility by our Territorial Commander. I received this assignment in June of 2007. We serve at the pleasure of our Territorial Commander and can be moved at any time.
What are your primary responsibilities as county coordinator, Dwaine?
I am responsible to coordinate public relations, fundraising, emergency disaster services, training, social services church services and programming for all Salvation Army units in our area. Although my title is Fresno County Coordinator, I am actually the Regional Coordinator for Western Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera and part of Merced Counties.
What are some of the challenges your organization faces each year, Dwaine?
We have to raise about $10 million each year in Fresno County to support the current level of services. That does not include any expansion of services or upgrades to our plant or equipment. The WWII and SE Asia conflict generations have been very supportive of our causes, but this group is aging and the younger generations are not so easily motivated to partner financially with us.
The second challenge that we face is getting our message out that we are a “faith based” organization. We do the things we do because of our commitment to Christ. We are a church who provides social services, not a social service agency who does church. We have been serving Fresno continuously since 1890.
Has The Salvation Army changed during the time that you have been involved with the organization, Dwaine?
I believe that we have become more visible in the community. We have purposed to keep our name in front of people. We understand that when people don’t see or hear from us, they have a tendency to forget about us. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job, Dwaine? The most difficult?
Seeing lives transformed is the most rewarding part of my job. We have an opportunity to give hope when there is no hope.
The most difficult is that we are not able to help everyone. The needs are so great and the resources are too small. We will provide emergency food to over 100,000 men, women and children this year — 20 percent of the population of Fresno — and yet there are still many who go to sleep each night without having eaten a meal that day.
What do you see in the future for The Salvation Army Fresno, Dwaine?
We see a need to expand our services into Southeast and Southwest Fresno. The populations are changing in those areas and our client base lives primarily south of Shaw and along the Ventura/Kings Canyon thoroughfare.
What is the best business advice that you have ever received, Dwaine?
People will give to things they are passionate about.