Two-County Merger Creates the Salvation Army Northwest Indiana Area Command

The Salvation Army announces the merging of operations in Northwest Indiana that will link services in Lake and Porter Counties. The Salvation Army Northwest Indiana Area Command will continue to serve residents of both counties through existing facilities in East Chicago, Gary, Munster and Valparaiso while pooling talent and resources. Headquarters for The Salvation Army’s Northwest Indiana Area Command will be based in its Munster facility.

“The formation of the Northwest Indiana Area Command for The Salvation Army is exciting. It is part of a larger strategic reorganization of The Salvation Army Central Territory called Project Advance and is designed to help us efficiently and effectively utilize the resources entrusted to us in these communities,” said Major Marc S. Johnson, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army Indiana Division. “With Project Advance, the Indiana Division will be comprised of the entire state of Indiana. This will provide better advocacy for all the residents of Indiana who seek assistance and support from our myriad of services throughout the state,” Major Johnson said.

Captain Bersabe Vera-Hernandez (Photo provided)
Captain Crystal G. Sherack (Photo provided)


Auxiliary Captain Jim Prichard (Photo provided)

After two and a half years of serving as Lake County Coordinator, Captain Brian Clark will be retiring. A new position has been created for the officer responsible for The Salvation Army’s Northwest Indiana Area Command overseeing both Lake and Porter Counties. Captain Bersabe Vera-Hernandez will be that officer serving as Divisional Secretary for Northwest Indiana Area Command. Other personnel changes in Northwest Indiana include Captain Crystal G. Sherack joining Captain Gloria Pelayo to lead the East Chicago Corps Community Center and Auxiliary Captain Jim Prichard joining the Porter County Corps Community Center as its new leader.

The merger and realignment also mean that both Lake and Porter Counties will be changing divisions. Effective July 1, 2022, The Salvation Army of Porter County will be leaving the Western Michigan Northern Indiana Division and Lake County the Chicago Metropolitan Division. Both will merge to become The Salvation Army Northwest Indiana Area Command and join the Indiana Division. The Salvation Army Northwest Indiana Area Command will continue serving individuals and families in Lake and Porter Counties from its four Community Centers in Munster, East Chicago, Gary and Valparaiso. While the community centers each offer some different programs, all of them provide emergency food assistance, help with paying rent and utilities bills, activities for children and youth and more. You can hear more about the merger at Region Newsmakers under the News Audio on Demand dropdown at our website.