Pathway of Hope – an initiative to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty
The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope initiative marks a pivotal shift from treating the symptoms of poverty to breaking the cycle and preventing the epidemic in future generations.
Through Pathway of Hope, The Salvation Army is helping families overcome barriers like unemployment, unstable housing and lack of education. Working together with parents, we help them get training, further their education, obtain employment, budget their money and secure stable housing. Once those barriers have been overcome, we can break the cycle of crisis and vulnerability and lead families instead down a path toward increased stability and ultimately, self-sufficiency.
The Salvation Army Resident Services Program enables homeless families with children to achieve self-sufficiency and housing permanency. The Resident Services Program (RSP) rebuilds families from the ground up by providing housing services, financial counseling and planning, family case management, continuing life skills education and a strong system of support services. RSP enhances its delivery of services through community based partnership.
RSP creates an opportunity for families to save money, pay off their debts, learn life and budgeting skills, link with affordable housing and become self-sufficient while keeping the family intact. When residents leave the program, they are better equipped for success. Personal responsibility and accountability are emphasized throughout this program.
Children that are raised in poverty affected families can have diminished prospects for success in life. Whether the children grow up in a single-family household, have an incarcerated parent, or as in and out of homelessness, the effect can be debilitating. The children often perform poorly on standardized tests, drop our of school, or suffer from behavioral issues such as aggressiveness, anxiety, and depression. Children who grow up in poverty often become young, single-parents themselves, thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty.
That is why The Salvation Army partners with families who are dedicated to improving their current life situation as well as increasing future prospects for their children. Throughout the program, Pathway of Hope families have a strong support network that helps them recreate the infrastructure of their lives.
Families connect to one another through shared experience and shared goals of self-sufficiency. Families build community through Sustainability Groups and the two Pathway of Hope nights at The Center for Worship & Service, located at 1701 S. Tuttle Avenue. Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening, families eat dinner together around a table with other families; children play together while parents share the joys and struggles of the day. After dinner, Pre-K children are connected with Children First workers who actively educate children through play and social interaction, while their older siblings are connected through character building programming where they earn badges for skill and accomplishments. Adults connect in Sustainability Groups and Forty Carrot Therapy Groups.
Pathway of Hope addresses family relations while working to create a family network of support. This includes acknowledging negative behaviors, showing commitment to change, and learning to communicate effectively. As the program and partnership progress, success is measured by improved family relations, children’s success in school, civic engagement and family members possessing a hopeful, long-term purpose.
Residents experience success time and time again; they become empowered and drivers of their own future. Families are given an opportunity to address life changes and crisis while in a safe environment. Families move from homelessness to self-sufficiency and their own place. Some even move to home-ownership! Through the skills and changes residents make during this program….they are no longer planning day to day and living on the edge. They can now plan for continued success and a brighter future for their family.