"I was a mess, emotionally. Pathway of Hope ...helped me move past that."

Nov 18, 2020

Wilma and her son entered our Shelter for Homeless Families in June and shortly after were referred to the Pathway of Hope program. As Wilma puts it, her downward spiral began in 2019, with the loss of two sisters just six months apart. This was especially tragic for Wilma because her oldest sister basically raised her. Additionally, her long-term relationship with the father of her son was becoming increasingly unhealthy. When she lost her job after 14 years of employment, she experienced the “perfect storm” – no job and a conflict-ridden, toxic relationship.

As Wilma’s only son grew older, she became determined to provide a better life for him. In the early Spring of 2020, Wilma had connected with her church and with the support she needed, she began making the lifestyle changes essential for her and her son’s future well-being. Unfortunately, her son’s father was not putting forth the same effort. After trying to leave once and returning, she gained the courage to leave for good.

Wilma’s confidence grew tremendously during the time she was assisted by the Pathway of Hope program and our Shelter for Homeless Families. Her resume was revamped, and after not having one interview in over a year, she started to get calls. She got better with each interview and was hired on the spot at her third interview! Housing became more attainable after gaining employment, and in September, she and her son moved into a safe and affordable apartment. Cheryl, Wilma’s partner with The Salvation Army, assisted Wilma tangibly with many of her needs – transporting her to the apartment and meeting with the landlord, providing her clothing, school supplies, and various recreational items for her son. Once Wilma obtained her apartment, Cheryl helped her move, provided her with furniture, dishes and cookware through our Emergency Family Assistance program.

Wilma remains employed full-time and loves her job. She is off public assistance and transitioning off the subsidized rent help she is currently receiving. Although money will be tight, she will be able to pay her own rent in full after the next couple of months. Concerned about her son’s safety, she recently made the difficult decision to not allow unsupervised visits between her son and his father, yet still praying and hopeful for his recovery from alcoholism.


Recently, Wilma said to Cheryl, “I was a mess, emotionally. Pathway of Hope and the shelter helped me move past that and it made all the difference.”


Wilma's story is that like many others; one of inspiration and courage. Pathway of Hope helps people like Wilma get on their feet and set a strong foundation for success. 


The Pathway of Hope approach includes:

  • Catalyzing community collaboration in service of shared clients
  • Moving families from crises and vulnerability to stability and eventually self-sufficiency, tracking family progress along the way
  • Bringing all The Salvation Army’s internal resources to bear, aligned to the goals of the clients
  • Focus on hope as a measured outcome, which represents the distinctly relational, spiritual outcome that The Salvation Army seeks in the work it does
  • Strengths-based case management services

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