THE SALVATION ARMY OF FDL PATHWAY OF HOPE HELPS FAMILY CONNECT WITH A BETTER FUTURE
Liv Preston and Kyle Sweet were excited to start a family. Both knew they needed help to change the situation they were in to ensure their son would never have to go through what they have.
Amber Arntz, Caseworker at The Salvation Army of Fond du Lac, remembers her first meeting with Kyle and Liv in April. “They were looking to get a fresh start on life, on the right foot.“
Struck by the couple’s ambition and determination, Arntz enrolled the growing family in the Pathway of Hope (POH), The Salvation Army’s targeted case management support for families with the desire to work and create a better future.
Arntz coordinates the Fond du Lac Pathway of Hope and asks new clients, “When you think of your future, what do you see?” The answer reflects each family’s unique circumstances and helps map the goals to achieving stability. The Salvation Army becomes partners in progress, connecting community resources to help.
Kyle wears glasses. When Amber first met him, the pair he was wearing was held together with tape. A dishwasher by trade, Kyle said, ”The steam from washing the dishes made the tape stop sticking and my glasses were always falling apart, making my job hard to do.” He asked for help. Amber sought out and a program Kyle was eligible for that provided new glasses. “He was thrilled!” Amber recalls.
When Liv and Kyle moved into their first new apartment, they were sleeping on the floor, Arntz says. Mattress Firm enthusiastically responded to Salvation Army’s call, donating and delivering a queen-size mattress and box spring. “We know how important it is to support our neighbors and communities when we can. Working with The Fond du Lac Salvation Army helps us continue to ‘Give Big’ and improve lives, one relationship at a time,” Fond du Lac Mattress Firm store manager Edward Bowe shares.
Liv was working part-time at McDonald’s – she needed another job to help pay the bills. The anxiety of finding and starting another job was overwhelming. The Salvation Army reached out to another Pathway of Hope Partner. Sue Petrack, owns a resale shop in town and says, “When I needed help the most, the Salvation Army made a huge impact. And for that, I will be forever grateful.”
Sue created an opportunity for Liv to work 3 days a week and still keep her McDonald’s job. Sue and her staff even threw Liv a baby shower.
Baby Trenton was born in May. After Trenton was born, Liv and Kyle decided it was important that they marry and become a family. Amber introduced the couple to Salvation Army Captains Steven and Telinda Wilson. The couple completed marriage counseling. On October 31, the Captain’s married the couple in The Salvation Army chapel. It was a very festive ceremony with friends and family celebrating their union.
Liv’s severe dyslexia makes reading very difficult. It is a hurdle to some of the things we take for granted, like driving. At 22, Liv hadn’t been able to complete driver’s education because she couldn’t read the book. She asked for help. Amber contacted the DMV and explained; Liv received a special book to study from.
Liv and Kyle have now completed the Pathway of Hope program, overcoming homelessness, seeking vision care, finding their church home, and becoming a family in the process.
Amber says, “It’s gratifying to help families work themselves into better circumstances. Watching their sense of pride and accomplishment grow as they help themselves is rewarding; hearing their renewed sense of hope for the future is proof positive The Pathway of Hope is on the right track. I’m glad to be part of it.”