Seeing Success & Change: Waterloo

Aug 13, 2019

                If you ask anyone from The Salvation Army why our work is carried out, the answers you will hear are sure to be wildly different each time. It is understandable because what draws all who join the mission of “meeting human need in His name without discrimination” is unique to each of them. Finding The Salvation Army is a personal journey and everyone’s path is different. Where these paths lead is where commonality can be discovered.  Coming together as one Army, fighting for good and bringing God’s love to life with our work - these are the reasons why we do what we do, because The Salvation Army’s impact is one of a kind. Without our work those in need would not receive the same dedication and love that we offer in all of our services & programs.


Advocates for the Neglected:

                Helping those who are facing difficult obstacles in their lives is what not only we do, but what many of our local partners and supporters do around your communities. In order to leave a real change for these people, giving time, effort and resources are required but that is not all. Becoming a real advocate for those we are helping is essential to leaving a lasting impact that they carry forward in their lives and continue the good we helped them create. The Salvation Army advocates for those around our communities in many ways. The Waterloo & Cedar Falls area has been home to many cases where our consistent advocating has resulted in families and individuals seeing just how loved and cared for they truly are.

(Names have been changed for privacy reasons – all other details remain true and unaltered)

                Samantha and her 10 year old son found themselves homeless in Waterloo. After finding The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter, she was able to get approval for section 8 housing assistance but was still battling with untreated mental illness that she was denied government disability funding for. She showed concerning troubles with her abilities to perform every day functions. As Salvation Army case management worked to connect Samantha to helpful resources, she continued to display problematic behavior that was hindering her existing assistance and overall well-being. As these issues got in the way of her living a happy and healthy life, The Salvation Army continually stood as an advocate by working with other agencies on her behalf. Eventually, Samantha and her son were assisted from the shelter into a new home. The situation remained difficult as she needed help with initial rental costs, moving their personal belongings, as well as obtaining kitchen and housing supplies. The process to adjusting to a more stable and loving life isn’t short and required much more support along the way.

                The Salvation Army advocated for Samantha time and again: believing in her by helping fund transportation for groceries and medical appointments, serving her best interest by getting other organizations involved in her case, and dedicating ourselves to working for as long as it takes to get her family to a better life. Currently, Samantha is receiving all of the financial and medical assistance she has needed. She and her son are both living on their own with more support than ever before.

                Amy came to The Salvation Army’s emergency shelter after facing domestic violence. Together with her two kids she was in need of a career, mental health services and most importantly: a sense of love and community. With the help of other agencies, Amy was able to move her family out of the shelter into their own space. During this time they needed The Salvation Army to remain an advocate as the adjustment had uneasy steps along the way. Between job searching, child care and financial worries – Amy was always fearful of losing everything she had worked so hard to achieve. With the help of our case managers & Pathway of Hope services, her family was able to be supported through these unsure times in their life. We offered this support to Amy because we wanted to remind her that she will not be forgotten by us because we believe in her. After months of assistance Amy was able to find a very good job. She is now providing stable income for her family’s living and even able to give her daughter mental health counseling. Amy no longer is receiving assistance from other agencies and finished our Pathway of Hope program. Her experience made her want to become an advocate, and she does this by volunteering and mentoring other families that are coming to The Salvation Army just as she did.        

                Whenever people fall on hard times it is easy to feel neglected by those around you. Even if there is a helping hand, sometimes it can be temporary or not enough unfortunately. That is why The Salvation Army promises to do the most good for those in need. By being long standing advocates we are dedicating ourselves to ensuring those we serve experience success, happiness, health, and love; not just temporarily, but for the rest of their life. We show them that through God’s light, no one is truly forgotten and we are his Army, working to advocate for those who feel left behind.

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