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In 2004, Connecticut became the richest state in the nation to set a goal of reducing child poverty, aiming to cut child poverty rates in half by the year 2014. Unfortunately, the state failed in this endeavor, instead allowing child poverty rates to increase significantly over the course of the last decade.
The Salvation Army knows that there will always be a need for no-questions-asked, no-obligation help to those in crisis. Always. We’ve been providing it for 150 years, and we have no intention of stopping now or in the future. However, that cannot be all that we do. Because unless we find strategic, multi-faceted solutions that address the root causes generating this need, The Salvation Army will simply be trapped in a cycle of addressing solely the resulting symptoms as the people that we are trying to help continually find themselves in crisis time and time again.
Our donors share the Army’s commitment to alleviating suffering and providing hope and opportunity to those who are struggling. In turn, this fosters a common desire to respond to their needs with programs that have meaningful, lasting, and–ultimately–multi-generational impact.
So what can we do?
The Salvation Army has invested into an initiative called Pathway of Hope.
With its design to help hard-working, dedicated families who simply do not have the means to get ahead in life on their own, Pathway of Hope provides the guidance, tools, and assistance necessary to support struggling families along the continuum of growth to self-sufficiency.
Nationally, Pathway of Hope is a huge undertaking. But on a local scale, it’s surprisingly manageable. To implement the program, we use our existing network of Corps Community Centers. The program is rolled out in clusters, with Pathway of Hope currently available in Bridgeport, Meriden, New Britain, and New Haven.
Annually, Pathway of Hope costs $90,000 per site. This includes funds for staff and a broad spectrum of emergency family assistance funds for the initiative.
The Plan of Action – helping those who want to move ahead.
Pathway of Hope is strengths-based. That means it focuses on possibilities rather than problems. We help families identify the skills and assets that they bring to the table before collaborating with them to make a plan utilizing those very strengths to improve their situation.
Using a case management approach with each client, Pathway of Hope is designed so that each family receives a personal plan of action tailored specifically to meet their needs. This plan will not only help them to achieve important goals across a broad spectrum of areas in their lives, but also provide them with a “go-to person” at The Salvation Army who serves as a “one-stop shop,” connecting them with resources and holding them accountable for the goals that they themselves have set.
Additional financial support from donors is critical to the success of this important work, so please consider how you might be a part of the most comprehensive approach that The Salvation Army has implemented to date in the hopes of ending poverty for families across generations by saying, “Yes!” to opportunities to support it.
From the days of our founders, The Salvation Army has been serving the physical and spiritual needs of the impoverished. In 2012, we provided nearly 10 million nights of lodging and 60 million meals across the United States. Even so, we realize that this is merely the equivalent of placing Band-Aids on gaping wounds. Hence our introduction of Pathway of Hope, the strengths-based, long-term approach that looks to combat this by helping families leave poverty behind permanently.
And so, we want to ask you—will you go the distance with us?