Family of Six Finds Hope Despite Pandemic
Toward the end of March, as COVID-19 was beginning to gain traction here in NY, Jon, a caseworker for The Salvation Army, completed a goal plan with the Bradford family, a typical practice with every family that joins our Pathway of Hope program. Dad was out of work, and the family was struggling to make ends meet but motivated to get back on their feet. The Salvation Army's Pathway of Hope initiative provides personal coaching services and referrals to families with children who desire to take action and pull themselves out of poverty. This process is intense enough for a family under normal circumstances. The threat of infection and a six-week-old baby added a significant level of difficulty. But Jon was determined to make sure this family succeeded in the goals they created together, Coronavirus or not.
At the end of their goal planning call, Jon reviewed the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 with the family, a new addition to his equally new virtual check-ups. Knowing the first few steps of a family's plan are critical, he went to work to support the Bradford's new goals.
Jon was able to secure a Chromebook for their teenage son to complete his schoolwork online since the family did not have a computer or transportation. He was later able to connect with the school district to ensure the three elementary age children had access to their school work packets. Jon also reminded the family to keep a consistent bedtime routine. Being mindful of the younger children's additional needs while schools remained closed, he provided coping mechanisms to manage their anxiety and their inevitable cabin fever. Finally, he connected the Bradford's to a community center within walking distance to ensure the family had daily meals during the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis.
Since March, Jon has worked with the Bradfords, and, as of June, Dad gained full-time employment within walking distance of his home, making more than minimum wage at a factory. The family completed a stressful but successful school year by returning the school work on time. Jon continues to call Mrs. Bradford and the family regularly to brainstorm ways the six kids can keep active in ways they enjoy as they look forward to this summer. The Bradfords grow less dependent on the local community center food pantry each week as they are now able to use dad's income towards their food budget and other needs. Mom has continued to use the coping mechanisms with some success, even though she acknowledges it has been hard with COVID-19 and having a young child. Jon assures her, she's not alone in these turbulent times.
Through involvement with Pathway of Hope, families are introduced to The Salvation Army and other services within their community that offer a network of support, a sense of community, holistic programs, and spiritual guidance. Pathway of Hope is also a service connector to job training, health services, childcare and education, housing options, legal services, and much more. Thanks to your support, families like the Bradford's are matched up with committed caseworkers like Jon and finding their way to self-sufficiency.
We couldn't be more proud of the families who are motivated to work hard and find freedom for their family to achieve their goals and dreams.
The Salvation Army's Pathway of Hope
If you're a family receiving public assistance that feels stuck in your situation and is ready to take steps to pull yourself out, consider The Salvation Army's Pathway of Hope program. The Salvation Army's Pathway of Hope initiative provides personal coaching services and referrals to families with children who desire to take action to break the cycle of crisis and vulnerability that repeats generation after generation. It seeks to address the root causes of poverty in addition to The Army's history of compassionate serving. By helping families overcome challenges like unemployment, unstable housing, and lack of education, we are leading families down a path toward increased stability and, ultimately, self-sufficiency.