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  • Defeating Generational Poverty

    Providing tools and resources to address their specific barriers to increased stability

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  • Breaking The Cycle of Poverty

    Learn the basic of our approach

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  • Start your Journey

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Do your children have a better chance than you did? Are you concerned about the basics that you need for you and your family? You can take the first step today by joining the Pathway of Hope to help you navigate the challenges to a better future. To get there, a caseworker will work with you to design a plan around your individual goals, needs and strengths.

Launched in 2011, Pathway of Hope has made significant progress in the Central Territory in the last five years.

Here’s where we stand at a glance:

  • 280 corps and social service sites with trained personnel
  • 3,400+ families have enrolled
  • 7,200+ children have been served
  • 75% of clients have increased stability
  • $5,900 = the average earned income increase for a family
  • 3,400+ organizations have partnered with us
  • 2750+ clients have been referred to other community resources

88% Employment

83% Financial Stability

82% Housing

78% Education

71% Transportation

What Does the Approach Involve?

Caring today for your family’s needs, while building a strong future can be challenging. The Salvation Army team will walk alongside you on your family’s journey:

Mapping it out

Meet with a caseworker to develop your personalized action plan. 

Staying on track

Chart your progress and see your success with your dedicated case worker on a regular basis.

Passing the six month mile marker

See where you are at six months and decide what’s next on your journey. 

Looking ahead

Celebrate your successes. Adjust any further goals.  Encourage others.

Resources & Connections

Through your involvement with Pathway of Hope, you’ll be introduced to both Salvation Army and other services that are available within your community which offer:

  • A network of support 
  • A sense of community 
  • Holistic programs 
  • Spiritual guidance 

Service Connector to:

  • Job training
  • Health services
  • Childcare and education
  • Housing options
  • Legal services
  • And much more...

Pathway of Hope Stories

Confidence Builds Hope

 Kansas City, Kansas

After the tragic loss of her husband, father and sister within four months, Constance lost her job and subsequently her home when her bereavement leave was exhausted and she needed more time off of work.

Thanks to the excellent partnerships established by Shida Brooks, then Kansas City Citadel, Kan., Corps caseworker, Constance was referred to The Salvation Army by the Kansas City, Kan., school district’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance liaison.

“When I came to The Salvation Army I had a plate of issues,” Constance recalled. “We were living in a hotel, with no transportation, and I had two children to take care of [ages 12 and 13].”

Enrolling in Pathway of Hope, Constance and Shida set achievable goals including finding safe and affordable housing, securing employment, obtaining public benefits and reinstating her driver’s license.

Constance felt the breakthrough came when she proved she’d been unfairly terminated and got her job back. Subsequent goals, such as securing housing and benefits, then became the focus. Shida connected Constance with My Father’s House, which provided her with home furnishings and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance liaison helped arrange for a bus to pick her children up for school.

“When I first started to meet with Constance she was very quiet,” said Shida. “Now she is open. She feels she is in a place where she can express herself. She’s more confident and even her children have noticed. I’ve heard them say, ‘Mommy is just so happy!’”

Constance’s final goal is to secure her driver’s license and transportation to work. Having achieved so much, she’s confident she’ll achieve this, too.

“I think it was putting everything into perspective and having another person to brainstorm with that made this a success,” said Constance. “With Shida, I never felt alone. She made me feel like there was someone on my team. We attacked it together. It’s not been easy, but Shida was always empathetic, patient and really, really kind.”

  Read More

Collaborating For Success

 Hastings, Nebraska

Kelly’s story is an excellent example of how the Pathway to Hope (POH) approach to case management effectively uses community engagement and collaboration, reported Terra Blase, social services director at the Hastings, Neb., Corps.

Kelly was referred to The Salvation Army from Catholic Social Services. They learned about the POH initiative from a presentation Terra had made at a community meeting and thought Kelly and her family might be an excellent fit.

Kelly faithfully attended weekly sessions with Terra. She and her children benefited from a wide range of services offered by the corps and outside resources. Through POH, Kelly succeeded in reaching many of her goals, including getting her first-ever job!

For most of her life, Kelly had struggled to exist solely on social security disability payments. After many months of encouragement and support, Kelly felt she could work a part-time job. Terra referred her to a state vocational rehabilitation agency for employment training and support services. After completing the 90-day program, Kelly was placed by the agency in a couple of on-the-job training programs.

Throughout the process, Terra coordinated meetings with the agency and training programs and continued to provide the reassurance and encouragement Kelly needed to succeed. Her efforts paid off. Earlier this year, Kelly was hired as a dishwasher at a local golf course. “She couldn’t have been more excited,” Terra added.

Terra also was instrumental in making references for many other forms of assistance and services for Kelly and her family from state and federal agencies, charities and local churches. Today Kelly and her family have assistance for a variety of their expenses—and they will even have new windows for their home thanks to a local weatherization program!

The Hastings Corps has been participating in POH since October 2014. Its corps officers, Majors Dale and Sandra Brandenburg, have been active supporters of POH since their appointment to the corps last year.


  Read More

Accountability the Key - Danyale

 Joplin, Missouri

Single mom Danyale first learned about Salvation Army services while volunteering with AmeriCorps after the 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado. Following some hard knocks in life, she found herself seeking out the Army for help.

“She came to us needing financial assistance for rent and utilities, but what she really needed was a support system,” said Joplin, Mo., Corps Caseworker Debra Gaskill. “She had the desire to improve her situation, but she said she did not always have the will power to stay on track.”

Danyale was very interested in participating in the Pathway of Hope (POH) initiative, but hesitated. “I knew I needed help, but I didn’t feel like I deserved it,” said Danyale. “After talking with Debra, she told me I was worthy of help and that I did need it.”

Debra and Danyale set three main goals for her: go back to college, enroll her five-year-old daughter in reliable daycare, and create and stick to a budget. After laying out action steps and being accountable to Debra each week, Danyale developed the confidence she needed to complete all of her goals.

“Once she had someone to be accountable to, Danyale was motived,” said Debra. “It kept her going to have someone to lean on and encourage her.”

Within six months, Danyale was able to get all of her bills and legal fines taken care of; had her daughter enrolled in the Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center and started college in January.

Thanks to a good relationship with Joplin Corps Officers Majors Doug and Beckie Stearns, Danyale also is volunteering as a community liaison on the corps’ social services advisory committee. She even shared her story at the corps’ volunteer appreciation dinner.

Danyale concluded, “Right now I feel very, very good about my goals. I feel like I’m on a good path with POH, and I see a good future.”

  Read More

Triumph from the rubble

 Muskegon, Michigan

Seven years ago Christy was living her dream life: married, living in a house she helped design and build from the ground up, managing a business for more than a decade and driving a new car. Suddenly her world came crashing down when she discovered her husband was living a double life.

Within a year, Christy lost the house and her car and had to move back in with her parents. She tried giving love another chance; she met a man, had a baby and thought her life was back on track. But soon she found herself fighting the demons of her partner’s alcoholism, mental illness and abuse.

Alone again, Christy was shocked to then lose her job of 17 years for taking time off to deal with her one-year-old son’s medical issues. She floundered for direction, not knowing which way to turn or where to go next with her life. Hoping to get a present for her child that Christmas, Christy went to a Toys for Tots distribution that happened to be held at the Muskegon, Mich., Corps, where she received an informational pamphlet on Pathway of Hope (POH).

“Little did I know this would become the largest blessing in my life,” said Christy, who’s been participating in POH at the corps for just over a year now. According to Peggy Ferris, case manager and POH coordinator, during that time Christy, who’s now 34, completed her primary goal of learning a skill in the medical profession to support herself and her son, graduating at the top of her class.

Christy’s new goals are to find a job (supported by sterling recommendations from the school) within a 50-mile radius and find stable, safe and affordable housing for herself and her son. When she recently shared about her experiences with POH at a corps advisory board meeting at the invitation of Muskegon Corps Officers Daniel and Stephanie Sawka, several members asked for her resume and congratulated Christy on her courage in sharing her story.

“The POH approach showed me I’m not trash to be thrown away. Despite all the mental and physical abuse I’ve experienced, I’m not the person I was told I am. I’m learning to define myself and not allow others to define me. I wouldn’t be where I am today and wouldn’t have the resources to be successful, if it weren’t for the POH initiative.”

Peggy added POH gained another collaborative partner through the medical education program Christy attended. The school has held food and toy drives for the corps and organized student volunteers for bellringing.

  Read More

Finding a Way Out

 Warsaw, Indiana

There was a sign outside the house where we got arrested, and where the drugs were, that said ‘Closed Alley,’ and that’s how my life was,” recalled Lynn of her darkest days.

“I didn’t have a way out and didn’t see the way out, because the drugs took over.”

Lynn’s life derailed when she started abusing prescription drugs and began associating with addicts. It led to time in jail and nearly killed her.

“I could have died, but God said to me, ‘I have something else for you to do,’” said Lynn, who connected with The Salvation Army in Warsaw, Ind., when Corps Officers Lts. Esteban and Karen Pommier ministered to her family in the aftermath of a house fire and her arrest. After being put on work release, she enrolled in Pathway of Hope and began attending the Warsaw Corps’ Sunday services. With the help of staff member Ken Locke, she set achievable goals and began to turn her life around.

Lynn also participated in corps activities and met with Lt. Karen Pommier to talk about her spiritual life. In November 2013 she rededicated her life to Christ and last May was enrolled as a soldier.

“When it comes to Pathway of Hope we want to go beyond case management,” said Lt. Esteban. “We are making friends, building relationships and ultimately connecting people to the real hope, which is Jesus.”

Lynn is grateful to have a second chance at life, not only as a functioning member of society and leader of women’s ministries at the corps, but as a child of God.

  Read More

One Step at a time

 Chicago, Illinois

Antoinette and her family were behind on their rent and on the brink of eviction when she met The Salvation Army through relatives who attend the Chicago Temple, Ill., Corps. 

There, Antoinette not only received assistance with food and clothing for her eight children, she discovered a larger support network ready to help her. She discovered Pathway of Hope (POH).

Through POH Antoinette has been identifying barriers to sufficiency, setting goals and developing ways to move toward a brighter future. Carmen Staggers, Chicago Temple POH case manager, has helped her in setting meaningful and measurable goals and continues to provide life-skills training.

For instance, a primary need was affordable and ample housing for her family in a safer neighborhood with less influence from gangs and drug dealers. She has learned how to be selective and observant when evaluating potential neighborhoods and housing, working to find a more stable home and living environment. The corps has become a safe haven for her children, providing a sense of hope and stability and helping them to improve in school.

Addressing the goal of employment, Antoinette has been attending the Chicago Harbor Light’s jobsearch program as well as going to job fairs in the city. Yet another goal is to ensure her children graduate from school, so they’ve been working with tutors afterschool. The two oldest are already on track to start college, and Antoinette herself plans to finish high school by earning a GED

 Read More

Sustaining a future

 Grand Haven, Michigan

Dan and Rebecca, a young couple with three beautiful girls, should have been celebrating the joys of life. They had so much to look forward to, or at least that’s what they thought.

But shortly after giving birth to their third daughter in October 2013, Rebecca lost her job. With no income, the family was soon homeless. Six months later Rebecca finally met The Salvation Army through a multi-agency team meeting at a public school in Grand Haven, Mich.

But shortly after giving birth to their third daughter in October 2013, Rebecca lost her job. With no income, the family was soon homeless. Six months later Rebecca finally met The Salvation Army through a multi-agency team meeting at a public school in Grand Haven, Mich.

The family entered Salvation Army emergency housing in April 2014 and started Pathway of Hope with high hopes. The two older girls fit right in at the corps, joining sunbeams and junior band and attending Sunday school and worship.

Dan and Rebecca worked hard at the goals they set and by July were ready for independent living when crisis struck. Dan was diagnosed with a terminal illness. It turned the family upside down, but they didn’t give up on their goals. They continued to walk the path to hope and in September were married by corps officer Captain Jay Davis.

They secured permanent housing through referrals and applied for Social Security disability benefits to increase their income. Through POH, they have better community support and involvement. And with a plan for their future, the family can deal with Dan’s difficult health issues without constantly being in a state of crisis.

“The Salvation Army was very helpful and also very supportive,” said Rebecca. “We’re going to keep working to better ourselves, our family and our way of living.”

 Read More

Pathway of Hope Videos


Who Can Join?

You’re eligible if:

  •  You have at least one child under the age of 18.
  •  You’re ready to take action!

Contact Us

Reach Out 

For more information:

The Salvation Army • USA Central Territory
5550 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192
p.847.294.2000 f.847.294.2297

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