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“I was completely convinced it was a cycle that was never going to end.”
Thousands of families across the country are trapped in a cycle of crisis. As poverty is continually passed down from parents to children, from one generation to the next, a better way of life seems impossible.
Among the world’s 35 wealthiest countries, the United States has the second-highest child poverty rate. And the sad fact is, children who live in poverty for half their lives are 32 times more likely to remain in poverty. The epidemic is passed down, and the cycle of crisis continues.
But 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.
“It’s a blessing to see them grow from feeling helpless to feeling self-confident.”
Through Pathway of Hope, The Salvation Army is helping families overcome barriers like unemployment, unstable housing, and lack of education. Working together with the 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.
“Vital to the process is the relationship. We see the potential in them. We see what they can be.”
The Pathway of Hope approach involves collaborating personally with families to create a plan specific to their needs and goals. The local insight of our corps offices, which are active in every ZIP code in America, allows us to collaborate with other organizations in the community to help work with those families. And the entire process is bolstered by The Salvation Army’s more than 150 years of meeting spiritual, physical, financial, and social needs in the United States.
Once the plan is set into motion, we track progress every step of the way, always focused on hope, making sure each family is moving toward the goal of self-sufficiency.
“If they allow us to come alongside them, they will begin to experience a transformation that they didn’t think they were, one, deserving of, but also capable of.”
As parents build their ability to earn an income, pay bills, and save toward the future, hope comes alive. Meanwhile, their children get the educational help and confidence they need to someday pursue their own goals. With time, with love, and with determination, the cycle of crisis will be broken, and what once seemed impossible for thousands of families will become a joyful reality.
“We’re going to see lives transformed for good. And to the glory of God.”