“I was a mess. Nothing had went right for me and I just felt like the entire world was against me,” she said. “I was depressed. I thought I was on my own.”
And then Ramona met Arvetta, a Pathway of Hope caseworker at the East St. Louis Corps. The two talked intensely about what goals Ramona wanted to accomplish and then they put a plan together.
“From the beginning she was a friend. She wasn’t just hearing what I was saying, she was listening. I could tell she genuinely cared about me and my kids,” Ramona said.
“The great thing about Ramona is that she wanted to change. She had goals, she just needed some help with the steps to get there,” Arvetta said.
After developing a relationship and building a plan together, Arvetta assisted Ramona with finding and maintaining a job, securing housing and a car. Ramona’s next steps are to go back to school and become a registered nurse.
Approximately 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty, putting American poverty level at an all-time high. Children raised in poverty are 32 times more likely to live in poverty as adults. The Salvation Army has responded to the need to break this cycle with The Pathway of Hope.
Pathway of Hope is rooted in the case management approach. Rather than looking at problems, the Strengths Model focuses on possibilities and develops strengths to assist clients in reaching their goals and dreams. A team is developed consisting of a client, case manager, and the community. A case manager works intensively with a small number of families to help them achieve short and long-term goals through collaboration and accessing community resources. The Salvation Army expands from “serving” clients to long-term interventions that help “solve” client’s root cause barriers.
We support Pathway of Hope client families by:
The Salvation Army will continue to serve all those that come to us in need, but the Pathway of Hope allows us to double our impact.
The Pathway of Hope approach is active at all Midland Division Corps Community Centers. To qualify for Pathway of Hope, a family must have at least one child under the age of 18, and be ready to take steps to make long-term change. They must also live near a Corps Community Center that is currently participating in Pathway of Hope.
A single father of three young boys, he came to the Pathway of Hope program after his youngest son’s mother passed away suddenly. PoH staff immediately assisted Darren in paying urgent bills and securing Christmas gifts for his children.
After living with relatives and friends — with guidance from his Pathway of Hope team – Darren was able to secure housing for himself and his children. Months after completing Pathway of Hope, he was then ready to secure better employment. Darren’s current night schedule has created barriers for his family, so he is once again partnering with The Salvation Army to participate in The Pathway of Hope.
“Right now I want to work. I want to find some sort of employment during the daytime so I can be home at night with my children.”
Darren is dedicated his life to making himself available to his children and raising them on his own. Self-sufficiency, he says, is his number one goal. And he’s determined to get there.
“I have no choice but to make it. I couldn’t die today and be happy because I haven’t paved the way for my children yet.” He looked into his hands, smiling.