Seeing Success & Change: Galesburg
It is easy to assume you know what The Salvation Army does because of our global presence and long history. You might know we provide meals for the hungry, shelter the homeless, and brighten the holidays with our red kettle donations; but until you learn about the people we serve, and their stories, you may be missing the real impact that we are able to create. These are just a few of the amazing, real opportunities we were able to experience at just one of our locations here in the Heartland Division! We thank everyone at our Galesburg community center for their dedication in serving all of Knox country and sharing these incredible stories with us.
Bringing Hope Through Housing
The resources we offer to assist with housing go beyond our emergency shelters. The Salvation Army supports those in need in many ways because every case of homelessness is different. Being able to offer these different approaches has allowed our family in Galesburg to meet the needs of 33 families and individuals through case management and sustained support; as well as provide one time assistance to over 20 more at-risk families. This has all been in the past year alone, and we can't to hear more testimonials in the months to come.
- Sharette - Coming from another country is a brave and often scary experience. It can mean leaving your support network of family, friend, and familiarity behind and taking a chance that may lead down a difficult path. For Sharette, born in Belize, this was the case when she found the Galesburg Rescue Mission after escaping domestic abuse. Her three children were the only family she knew and fleeing into homelessness meant that the Department of Child & Family Services had taken custody. Waiting in the rescue mission for legal employment status also left her with no steady income to begin working towards finding a safe home for herself and children. Knowing these issues gave The Salvation Army the chance to understand her needs and enroll her into the Transitional Housing services. Here, we were able to supplement rent cost for an apartment that was suitable for her and the kids. This was the support system Sharette was in need of, and soon after she was able to regain custody of her children. With our help she was able to shift her focus confidently from shelter, to applying for long-term legal status in the U.S., and eventually support her family out of the housing program.
- Komi & Ayoade - Homelessness can become an issue in a moment's notice, without warning. No one is ever prepared for the hardships associated with such a difficult reality. Bringing their fourth child into the world already gave Komi and Ayoade plenty of challenges to face as a family, but employment issues soon became an eviction notice two weeks before their due date. The Salvation Army was there for the whole family in such a sudden time of need. They were re-housed and offered rental assistance while Komi volunteered at our Galesburg community building. The children were able to remain socially and emotionally engaged through opportunities like summer camp and youth night. After a few months, Komi was working full time and making enough for the new family of six to begin gaining self-sufficiency and support. Throughout the first pay periods The Salvation Army continued to reach out and provide case management to ensure the best outcome from such a whirlwind of challenges and changes. Without any further rental assistance, Komi, Ayoade and their four children are now securely living in a spacious house and have grown great community relationships.
- Charles - Families are not the only ones The Salvation Army works to create change for. Individuals who find themselves homeless also have our dedication committed to bringing them into stable housing. Charles was one of these individuals. He found himself facing the possibility of homelessness after the nursing home he lived in was closed by the city due to code violations. Living off fixed Social Security income meant that Charles would have a difficult time finding an affordable new location. Working with The Salvation Army gave him peace of mind and security as we temporarily housed and connected him to counseling resources. Eventually, Charles was able to reach permanent living in an income based with our help. Three other residents from his location that faced similar outlooks were also able to receive a fresh start with our rental assistance.
Powerful stories like these are ringing from all of our communities in the Heartland Division and we can't wait to share more. The passion seen in Galesburg is truly inspiring and we encourage you to keep up with them on Facebook or their website to see what other help they bring outside of helping the homeless as well as learn about the people carrying out this important work. All of this, as always, is made possible only through the support of our communities and so we thank everyone who volunteers, donates, spreads our word, and keeps their local Salvation Army a long standing community cornerstone to help anyone in need. If you want to keep up to date with news from all of our locations subscribe to our email list or follow our Facebook page; and if you want to find out how you can help your local Salvation Army learn more here.