Clients Tell Their Pathway of Hope Stories
What is P.O.H. (Pathway of Hope) to me? It was and is a lifeline.
My family lived in Florida and moved back to Michigan due to my husband passing in Feb. 2018 due to cancer.
I tried everything on my own to get a job and find a place for my son, his service dog and myself.
I finally swallowed my pride and started asking for help from different agencies and kept being told the same thing. ‘I don’t qualify due to having income and being homeless with ‘no’ bills that count.’
I was at the end and about to just give up on anyone or places to just help. I finally met the right person. Her name is Melanie Weaver with the Pathway of Hope at The Salvation Army in Holland. She explained what P.O.H. is and the program.
It was the support help I needed. They don’t just hand you things or money. They help you grow stronger within yourself and show you how you can pull yourself up and dust yourself off and, most importantly, show you and help you and guide you to and back to God. Not by letters, but by love and support.
With the support from Melanie, my family went from being homeless in the cold and not knowing what was going to happen next.
My family finally got the best Christmas gift and on Dec. 26 we got our own place we call home.
Yes, life is still throwing stuff but that is life.
If it wasn’t for the love and support with the P.O.H. program, I know I would have given up.
I am grateful for this program and the friendship I have that was built with this program.
I went from losing my husband, losing my home and everything I owned, wanting to just give up on all humankind and people.
Now I am closer with God. I have built a friendship with Melanie and with P.O.H.
Again, you ask what is Pathway of Hope to me? It is a lifeline and lifesaver. They helped me see how strong I am and swallowed my pride and ask.
Our only supporters during our times of trouble
A few months ago I was at risk of being homeless. With research, I came across a program within The Salvation Army called Pathway of Hope. It was fall, transitioning to the winter months. My husband, Peter*, and I were trying to rebuild stability after his return from being wrongfully incarcerated. My grandmother offered an extra room for us to stay in, along with my two children. This eventually caused
family conflicts and we were no longer being accepted in her home. Peter is a full-time father to my three-year-old daughter Penelope*, and one-year-old son August*. Circumstances were difficult, to say the least, to accept or understand the actions my family took against me.
Next, Peter and I applied for housing assistance and financial help. Day by day we spent traveling with our children in our arms only to spend the nights at my grandmothers to avoid any unnecessary confrontation. We were at risk of losing everything but our faith is strong between each other. After being harassed and discouraged by my family, denied by multiple housing assistance programs, we had come to a conclusion. The only place we would be accepted was the homeless community shelter. Our family would be separated by gender and we didn’t know how we would arrange parenting time during the day and on the weekends. I thought to look on the “Brightside” and humbled myself to prepare to meet other individuals who have a troublesome story to share.
Coming across Pathway of Hope brought tremendous change. Some of which will last a lifetime in my heart.
In addition to the services offered by Pathway of Hope, routine visits with our caseworker, Melanie, instantly gave us hope. We were granted with another chance as parents. Unexpectedly, we’ve been blessed with a series of events. We have never been privileged to have a home you’d call “safe” to live in until today. With the help of Pathway, we’ve regained our confidence and trust in others. All of the positivity affected our attitudes and the ones around us. Our relationships are better balanced, performance in my work improved and Peter has engaged in some remodeling projects that he has put his heart into and has done outstanding work.
Nonetheless, everyone at Pathway of Hope were our only supporters during our times of trouble. With their gifts, my family was joyful during the holidays. We served a family dinner from our own apartment at Thanksgiving. We rejoice in our home every day for what we have. We’ve been jumpstarted to live a better life and we’ve lost enough battles in our journey that it’s given us strength to tackle whatever hits next.
Lastly, being involved in this program has opened my eyes to my own potential. I appreciate the ways Pathway of Hope valued us as a family. Now that I know there are people working in programs like these, I’m willing to help someone the next time I see them at a downfall. I feel like I owe a favor to the universe to take part in the prosperous ripple effect. Thank you tremendously, I am grateful to have gone through life’s challenges with supporters like these.”
*Names changed to protect identity.