WATERVILLE — The Salvation Army social services office on Main Street has served more than 200 people in its first month since opening its doors on Oct. 3, according to Captain Scott Murray, a corps officer of the Salvation Army Capital Region in Maine.

The organization helped 63 families and a total of 213 people through the new office. It provides financial assistance for rent, utilities and heat, as well as a food pantry and referrals to other community agencies.

“The number of people who we’ve been blessed to help exceeds our expectations,” Murray said in the release.

The Salvation Army Thrift store at 184 College Ave., which previously housed the social services office, closed Sept. 26 because of rising operational costs and declining sales. The religious and charitable organization had run the store since 2007, but it struggled to maintain profits over the last three years.

“While we provided social services assistance as part of our thrift store, having a dedicated office specifically for social services is proving to much better meet the needs of the people we serve,” Murray said.

The office, located at 179 Main St., Suite 313, in downtown Waterville, is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and is staffed by a Salvation Army officer who is an ordained minister and a caseworker. Operating hours will be reviewed during the winter, and Murray expects office hours to increase to meet the needs of the community.

The organization previously had maintained an office at 225 Main St., where Father Jimmy’s shop is now located, before the Waterville organization merged with the Augusta office.

The Salvation Army Capital Region Corps was formed as a result of the merger of the Augusta and Waterville corps in 2014. The Capital Region Corps serves the residents of Augusta, Waterville, Chelsea, Hallowell, Sidney and Winslow.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour