THE PATHWAY HOPE
is a groundbreaking initiative of The Salvation Army. It allows The Salvation Army to work hand-in-hand with motivated families to propel them away from chronic, intergenerational poverty and toward a path to self-sufficiency. As we serve 30 million Americans annually, we are keenly aware of the trials our client families face. We also know that their struggles will persist if we keep treating the recurring symptoms of the problem and not the source. Poverty is not an affliction of the unfortunate few. It is a national epidemic. 43.1 million people in the United States are at or below the poverty level (census.gov). Left unchecked, the poverty of today will impact untold families tomorrow. Youth who live in poverty for half of their adolescence are 32 times more likely to stay there; 42 percent of children born to parents in the bottom fifth of income distribution remain at the bottom – a startling reality in this land of opportunity. The impact of intergenerational poverty is seen, most acutely, in children, as over one half of those adults who were poor in childhood currently live at or below the poverty level.
The Mission of Pathway of Hope:
To provide enhanced services to families that are ready to take action to break the cycle of poverty for their children and generations to come. The Pathway of Hope intends to address the root causes of poverty for at least 100,000 client families across the country. In addition to attending to families’ immediate needs, we want to eliminate the substructures of poverty in their lives by opening doors to opportunity, building community alliances to expand access to resources in
order to create transformational change for parents and their children. To accomplish these ambitious goals, The Salvation Army has expanded its holistic approach, which serves the entire person; physically, emotionally and
Laying The Foundation for Hope
The Salvation Army is well-positioned for this bold mission due to the wide scope of our engagement footprint. With 1,216 Salvation Army Corps Community Centers nationwide, we serve every
zip code in the US. In the Southern Territory we operate 342 Corps and 75 Service Centers. There is no need for new infrastructure. We will be harnessing more than 150 years of program experience, social service expertise and unalterable faith in the ability of people to help themselves when provided with real opportunities. The initiative builds upon and expands our current strengths, as well as the ties we already have with families in the communities we serve.
Collaborative Coaching with Families
The typical Pathway of Hope family is composed of a single mother, in her mid-thirties, with two to three children. Every day, she is faced with the daunting task of deciding whether to pay for food, electricity or medical needs from her allocation of meager resources. She is employed in a low-wage, part-time position without benefits. Her average annual income is $13,549. Hunger and food insecurity are this family’s reality.
While Pathway of Hope is comprehensive and characterized by compassionate, concerted care, it is not for everyone. Applicants undergo a thorough evaluation to establish their readiness to proactively overcome behaviors and patterns that reinforce their impoverished identity.
Compassionate, Strengths-Based Case Management
Case Managers meet one-on-one with participating client families for intensive counseling, as well as conduct home visits to identify the barriers to self-sufficiency. Using a strengths-based approach, case managers leverage a client’s existing strengths and resources to collaboratively develop a plan of action that will lead to self-sufficiency.
Addressing the underlying causes of intergenerational poverty is a difficult task that no one single organization can address on its own. The Salvation Army is partnering with agencies to address the specific needs of the families in Pathway of Hope.
We collaborate with area agencies and organizations in order to provide client families with the best tools and support strategies for achieving their goals. Pooling resources also helps share the direct cost of meeting program beneficiaries’ needs and achieving our intended results. This approach allows The Salvation Army and other organizations to stretch our resources further, prevent duplication and help a greater number of people with more in-depth methods.
Consistency of Programs through Robust Training and Evaluation
We are extremely dedicated to the consistent implementation of Pathway of Hope and the uniform tracking of its effects within the lives of those it serves. To ensure both high performance and impact across all implementation areas, The
Salvation Army is investing in case manager training and the expansion of the information technology system currently in use at Pathway of Hope locations.
Benchmarks of assessment include how many Pathway of Hope families achieve sufficiency, increase stability, report increased hope, reduce the number of barriers they face, decrease their use of emergency services and report an increase in income.
For more information please contact
Director of Social Services