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 is investing in a bold new initiative we’re calling Pathway of Hope. It’s a strengths-based, long-term approach to helping families leave poverty behind. For good.
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 will use our existing network of Corps Community Centers. The program will roll out in clusters, each of which will include at least 3 key cities at a time, with Bridgeport, Meriden, and New Haven being introduced as our initial cluster.
Annually, Pathway of Hope will cost $100,000 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 will serve as a “one-stop shop,” connecting them with resources and holding them accountable for the goals that they themselves have set.
Thanks to the generosity of several leadership gifts, Pathway of Hope is a reality in Connecticut and began in the spring of 2016 with our first cluster (Bridgeport, Meriden, and New Haven).
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.
We won’t have any big, sweeping numbers to report within the first year—after all, we are talking about deep, generational cycles of poverty—so, if you like large statistics and immediate gratification, then this is not the investment for you. But this is only because Pathway of Hope is not simply about big outputs or pumping out numbers. It’s about sincere, genuine, qualitative outcomes that extend far further than simple statistics are able to depict. It’s about going the distance and walking alongside these families in need so that they can achieve lasting change, both for themselves and their children.
And so, we want to ask you—will you go the distance with us?
Poverty in the U.S. is an epidemic – including one in five children, according to the latest Census figures. Children who live in poverty for half their childhood are 32 times more likely to remain in poverty (according to The Urban Institute). The Salvation Army works with many of these families by addressing immediate needs. Pathway of Hope is the next step for us to help them break the cycle of poverty.
$100,000 to begin to operate Pathway of Hope in each location.
Make a leadership gift of $5,000 or more and invest in a family's future?
For more information contact Dawn Fleming at Dawn.Fleming@use.salvationarmy.org or call (Office) 860-702-0037 (Cell) 860-331-0018
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
Whether it's embracing the homeless, uplifting the abused or abandoned, training and mentoring the disadvantaged, providing character building programs for youth, or assisting the displaced or elderly, The Salvation Army's goal remains the same: serving the most people, meeting the most needs, DOING THE MOST GOOD!