Article originally published by Saporta Report on Dec. 18

One of The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta’s many facilities—a 324-bed emergency and transitional housing shelter called Red Shield Services—recently completed energy and water efficiency upgrades through Southface Institute’s GoodUse program. GoodUse provides financial and technical assistance to retrofit nonprofit buildings so that utility bill savings can be invested back into core services to the community. For Salvation Army, that includes support for people transitioning out of homelessness, substance abuse treatment, and emergency shelter in inclement weather.

Through GoodUse, The Salvation Army installed a 20-kW solar array, high-efficiency bottle fill stations and plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, occupancy sensors, a variable-speed kitchen exhaust hood, a new building automation system and an air cleaning system. These renovations will save the organization more than $96,000 in utility costs annually while reducing emissions and waste.

The improvements make life better for clients and staff alike. Individuals and families experiencing housing insecurity benefit from a healthy, safe environment where they can recover and thrive. The new kitchen hood provides staff with an efficient, quieter, better conditioned and odor-controlled work environment.

GoodUse has impacted ten of The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta’s facilities over the past several years, achieving around $300,000 in cumulative annual savings in total. Metro Atlanta Area Command leaders even credit HVAC filtration improvements made through GoodUse as a major contributor to the nonprofit’s lack of COVID-19 superspreader outbreaks during the height of the pandemic.

Southface President James Marlow remarked, “This is why we do this work at Southface. It’s why supporting the vital, heartfelt work of direct-service nonprofits like The Salvation Army is such a big part of our mission. It’s about making an impact on the planet while making an impact on lives.”

To date, more than 575 GoodUse projects across 31 states have led to nonprofits cumulatively saving 28 million kWh of electricity, 19,396 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and $3.77 million in utility costs annually. While Southface’s GoodUse program has driven significant impact since 2008, Marlow notes that more investment is required to match the level of need in nonprofits across the US. Learn more at

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