Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Salvation Army of Lockport has new officers, and although they’ve only been here a few weeks, they’ve already embraced their new community.
The Santiagos — Majors Jose and Elsa Jo and their children, Noé, 15, and Emily, 14 — arrived in Lockport from Lorraine, Ohio, and have already become familiar faces around the 50 Cottage St. citadel.
The Santiagos are the first new officers in Lockport in a decade, and in addition to all of their regular duties, they are facing the daunting task of a major building and renovation project.
But Major Jose Santiago is confident that the project will proceed smoothly and in a timely fashion.
“The expansion is coming — and we anticipate a groundbreaking at the end of August,” he said.
The project will allow the Salvation Army to expand its programming, as well as bring some much-needed updates to the existing facility.
In the meantime, the Santiagos are getting to know about Lockport, its people and their needs.
“Our message is that our mission is to be relevant. We will be relevant to the community and everything we accomplish will be relevant. We will meet the needs of the people at the time of their greatest need,” Jose Santiago said.
For the Santiagos, that mission is a family affair. Noé and Emily have been at the citadel with their parents every day.
“Having them involved is part of our ministry. It’s not just us, it’s our family. Emily likes to be involved with the children’s programs and Noé is involved with the church,” Elsa Jo Santiago said.
In the fall, Emily will enter ninth grade at Lockport High School and Noé will be going into 10th grade.
Jose Santiago said that so far everyone has been very welcoming, with people just stopping by to say hello and get acquainted.