Keeping a Single Mom’s Lights On

Oct 11, 2021

Growing up, Tanisha* heard people talk about The Salvation Army as a place of refuge for people in need. She never dreamed she’d one day be seeking their assistance herself. But a global pandemic has a way of turning everything upside down. 

Tanisha, a single mom of a teenaged daughter living on Chicago’s southside, was doing just fine before COVID-19. She had a good job in education that allowed her to provide a happy life for her family of two.  

But then her school district started laying off employees, and soon she was looking at want ads. “Most of the jobs were for fast food,” Tanisha said. “But I needed stable hours. And fast food wages don’t support a family.” Within months, her utility bills were past due and the electric company was threatening to shut off her power.

Since she lives near The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center Chicago, Tanisha receives their emails, and thankfully read one that mentioned they provide rent and utility assistance. She reached out to Lieutenant Shanell Johnson, the Officer for Congregation Life and Youth Development at the Kroc Center, who helped provide Tanisha the funds to cover her gas and light bills.

“That meant a lot,” Tanisha said. “It kept our lights on.” Without the Army’s assistance, she would have had to ask her family for help again, something she was desperately trying to avoid.

 “It means a lot, the work they’re doing in our community,” Tanisha said of the Kroc Center. “They’re standing true to their values.” And true to their reputation of being a refuge for people in need.

*Name changed to protect client’s privacy.

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