Hurricane Florence tracks closer to North and South Carolina, The Salvation Army is preparing to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care

Hurricane Florence tracks closer to North and South Carolina

As Hurricane Florence tracks closer to North and South Carolina, The Salvation Army is preparing to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care to individuals and families impacted by the storm and first responders.

Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Overview – North and South Carolina

  • At the logistical staging location in Charlotte, North Carolina, twenty-five mobile feeding units and teams from the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM) Division, Florida Division, and Georgia Division are prepared to deploy as soon as storm conditions allow.
  • The mobile feeding units were joined in Charlotte by twenty-five Emotional and Spiritual Care specialists who will provide comfort and hope to survivors, first responders, and volunteers who are helping with the disaster.
  • In the short-term aftermath of the storm, Salvation Army officers, staff, and volunteers will focus primarily on the immediate needs, providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to impacted individuals, families, and first responders.
  • Through coordination with local emergency management and disaster service partners, Salvation Army units across the Carolina are providing meals to evacuation shelters and emergency operations centers ahead of Hurricane Florence.
  • The Salvation Army is coordinating with numerous county emergency operations centers and serving in state emergency operations centers in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Salvation Army mobile feeding units have deployed to assigned service areas.

  • A mobile feeding unit from Clearwater, FL has been deployed to Kinston, NC and is on standby to provide support in the area.
  • Charlotte, NC mobile feeding unit and team deployed to provide support in Horry County/Conway, SC alongside the Conway mobile feeding unit.
  • Hickory, NC deployed to provide support in Washington, NC alongside the Washington mobile feeding unit.
  • Greensboro, NC deployed to provide support Elizabeth City, NC alongside the Elizabeth City mobile feeding unit.
  • Greenville, SC, and Anderson, SC deployed to provide support in Charleston, SC alongside the Charleston mobile feeding unit.
  • The Salvation Army in Charleston is serving in partnership with the South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief. This collaboration has fed many thousands over its multi-decade partnership. The Baptist Disaster Relief cooks the hot meals and The Salvation Army mobile feeding units provide the meals where needed.

Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Overview – Georgia 

  • A Georgia Incident Management Team, led by Disaster Services Director Lanita Lloyd, has been identified and is prepared to respond. This leadership team will coordinate the response in Georgia.
  • Additional Georgia mobile feeding units are now being prepared for activation along with teams to be deployed in the areas of need in Georgia.

Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief Overview – National Capital and Virginia 

  • Three Incident Command Posts have been created and are ready to mobilize and serve.
  • Seven mobile feeding units from Kentucky-Tennessee Division are now stationed in Roanoke.
  • The Salvation Army is prepared to serve.

About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services

  • We have served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900.
  • The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to support those affected by Hurricane Florence. Our national network of trained disaster staff and volunteers will be deployed to several locations, prepared to provide food, hydration, clean-up kits, hygiene supplies, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors.
  • In times of disaster, we serve the whole person – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • After immediate needs are met, The Salvation Army will remain and continue to partner with impacted communities to rebuild. Rebuilding communities takes time and partnership, and we will be there as long as it takes.
  • We are there before, during, and after the storm

You can support the ongoing relief work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation at to, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, text STORM to 51555.


National Capital & Virginia Division Readies Response to Hurricane Florence

The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division is closely monitoring weather conditions as Hurricane Florence continues its path in the Atlantic Ocean. Most recent reports indicate that the Hurricane may make landfall to near Category 5 strength Thursday night along the North Carolina coast. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued yesterday for coastal areas of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

“Together with our emergency response team in the Carolinas and our national disaster teams, we are closely monitoring the storm. We are ready to respond locally in coastal areas and beyond, where heavy rainfall and potential flooding may impact wide areas in Virginia,” said Major Chris Flanagan for The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division. “We pray that the impact will be light, but we are ready to provide relief to those affected by the storm and support our emergency management partners.”

The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to support those affected by Hurricane Florence, with trained disaster staff and volunteers and specialized equipment deploying to several locations. As in past disasters, The Salvation Army coordinates with community agencies and emergency management officials to provide food, hydration, clean-up kits, hygiene supplies, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors. The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division has 8-10 mobile feeding units ready for disaster response throughout Virginia. Most of those units are on the road today and tomorrow, establishing staging areas in locations believed to be most impacted in the arrival and aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Trained Emergency Disaster volunteers and corporate partners played a key part in the massive response efforts of The Salvation Army after Hurricane Harvey.

The Salvation Army Pays Tribute to Harvey Volunteers and Corporate Partners

Trained Emergency Disaster volunteers and corporate partners played a key part in the massive response efforts of The Salvation Army after Hurricane Harvey. At the peak of service, hundreds of Salvation Army staff and volunteers tirelessly prepared and served meals each day from more than 100 mobile kitchens active in affected communities along the Texas coastline. For many survivors and response teams, the hot food and snacks provided by The Salvation Army’s committed volunteers were the only meals they could count on each day for several weeks.

“We left Austin on Saturday, August 25, right after the storm made landfall and spent the first few days serving meals in Victoria and Seadrift, before moving to La Grange,” said Bruce Peterson, a longtime EDS volunteer from Williamson County. “Victoria was devastated. There was no power at all. All six of our team were able to stay with a friend of mine just outside the city. Incredibly, her house was the only one in the entire neighborhood that had power. We were able to cook 150 breakfast tacos in the morning and delivered breakfast to the entire street,” said Bruce.

Bruce and the EDS volunteer teams from Williamson County were deployed for four weeks. “We typically are out there for 14 days at a time and then our second team will rotate in,” said Bruce. “I got home after about a month and then got a call asking me to help set up a Salvation Army warehouse in Houston. I ended up being gone another 17 days.”

Bruce’s dedication is typical of The Salvation Army trained disaster volunteers who are crucial to the success of our emergency relief efforts. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) operates a robust and comprehensive volunteer training program. Trained and certified Salvation Army volunteers are the first to be deployed during times of disaster. Available courses include classes in incident management, mobile kitchen operations, food service, emotional and spiritual care and basic first aid and CPR training, among others.

Another volunteer team, all members of The Salvation Army Women’s Service League in Granbury, served in Victoria for a month. “I was part of the second team deployed. By the time I arrived in Victoria, the power was back on and people were beginning to start recovery efforts,” said Linda Dowell, EDS volunteer. “Our team was a praying team. We would pray in the truck that God would guide us, pray as we prepared the food, and were always ready to pray with those who came to us for help. We would deliver food, speak with the survivors for a few moments and then our Emotional and Spiritual Care team would meet with the families,” said Linda. “It was a beautiful thing.”

Beyond the delivery of meals, Emotional and Spiritual Care is a unique aspect of The Salvation Army EDS. Motivated by Christian faith, The Salvation Army deploys specially trained individuals, often ordained Salvation Army Officers (pastors), to offer emotional and spiritual care to rescue workers and disaster survivors.

“Our emergency disaster services volunteers are among some of the most hardworking and committed people I have ever served with,” said Alvin Migues, EDS Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “This was never more evident than during Hurricane Harvey response. Our registered volunteers know that there is a good chance they’ll be deployed to support relief efforts and, true to form, our people were prepared, available and ready to answer the call when we needed them. The Salvation Army simply couldn’t have responded on the scale that we did, and help so many people, without our volunteers.”

Corporate partnerships also are important to the success of The Salvation Army disaster response efforts. With established long-term relationships with many community-minded businesses, The Salvation Army can count on these partners to step up and support our work in times of disaster.

“The Salvation Army is grateful for our corporate partners who come alongside us in times of need. Whether it be through financial support, gifts in-kind, or perhaps donation of infrastructure and volunteers, they make it possible for us to respond effectively and efficiently on a large scale,” said Migues. “Even today, ongoing partnerships with JCPenney, Ashley Furniture, Good360, Rooms To Go, Mattress Firm and many others are making it possible for The Salvation Army to deliver very practical help to individuals and families still working to put their homes and lives back together.”

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army in Hurricane Harvey recovery or for more information go to  

Maj. Tim Grider was in the middle of leading a Salvation Army building campaign in St. Angelo, Texas, when he got the call from the higher ups asking him to take over the chapter in Fayetteville.

New leader of Salvation Army chapter has ambitious plans for Fayetteville

Maj. Tim Grider was in the middle of leading a Salvation Army building campaign in St. Angelo, Texas, when he got the call from the higher ups asking him to take over the chapter in Fayetteville.

He said he was surprised, but pleased to come back to a state that he considers home.

Grider — who has led Salvation Army chapters since 1990 in Florida, Alabama and now North Carolina — has taken over the helm of the Sandhills Chapter of the Salvation Army, which includes Cumberland, Hoke, Moore, Robeson and Scotland counties.

He moved here with his wife, Cheryl, who is also a Salvation Army officer. They have been working in Texas for the last 12 years.

“I’m a Carolinian. Born and raised in the Carolinas,” he said. “My wife and I are thrilled to be home. Texas was fun, interesting, great. We saw Western America. We would have never been able to see that, our kids as well. But we are thrilled to be back in the Carolinas.”

The Griders are replacing Matt and Christina Trantham, who have been transferred to Maryland.

The Griders are both children of Salvation Army officers. Tim Grider is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with degree in business management and accounting. Cheryl Grider was born in Winter Haven, Florida, and is a graduate of Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, with a degree in music.

Together they were commissioned and ordained from The Salvation Army’s College for Officers Training in Atlanta. They have three children — Nate, Kevin and Chloe. Chloe is a freshman at Cape Fear High School; Nate and Kevin serve in the military.

Tim Grider has laid out a methodical plan to evaluate every aspect of the Salvation Army’s operations in the Sandhills.

The first step is to develop a strategic program and business plan for the local chapter, which he calls STRAT. He said it will evaluate every facet of the Salvation Army’s operations, including whether buildings should be rented or purchased, whether programs should be scaled back or expanded and whether new programs should be adopted.

“The strategic plan vets every detail and facet (of the organization), from staff to property to budgets,” he said. “There are many other things that we would normally do that we’re not doing here. There are some other things we are doing but we need to kind of update the methodology of it to today’s standards and technology. We have a few computers that need to be upgraded. We need buildings. We need property. We need land. That is our number one priority.”

The Salvation Army operates a thrift store at 433 Robeson St., a social services office at 310 Dick St. and a community center at 220 Russell St. He said there could be a need for another thrift store in Fayetteville, as well as a new one in Lumberton. He said the evaluation will look at the need to possibly add services, such as a senior housing program.

He said the community center is bursting at the seams and doesn’t have enough space.

“We do not have enough offices for the administration,” he said. “We’re taking over classrooms that we need for a community center, which by the way is our summer day camp and our after-school program and our seniors program on top of our church.”

Grider said the Salvation Army board will be active in the organizational review process, which also includes a “mission planning study.”

“We’ll do probably 250 to 300 interviews with people in the five-county area. We’ll have all the statistical and data analysis done,” he said. “It is the research component that says, ‘Yes, you do need this program. No, this program is covered by X,Y and Z agency. You don’t need to continue doing that.’”

Grider said it will take at least six months for the STRAT study to be completed.

“It’s going to take a while,” he said.

Salvation Army Launches in Samoa

Salvation Army officially launches in Samoa

The church and humanitarian organization Salvation Army is now in Samoa.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and other guests attended its commissioning at the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale on Saturday.

Describing the arrival of the church and humanitarian organization in Samoa as another opportunity to spread the Gospel and do its humanitarian work, the Prime Minister said he welcomed their arrival.

“I am informed that Samoa is the 130th country in the world where the Salvation Army operates. It would not have been possible without the Church’s farsighted vision to establish in Samoa, and the hard work done by Rod and Jenny, your missionaries for Christ and all those involved from the outset of the planning and negotiations,” he said.

“Caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society constitute the mission of the Salvation Army, and you have been offering assistance in those key areas since 1865. Alcohol and drugs are challenges of this age and time. I am very happy to see that the Salvation Army will be offering assistance for a credible and professional alcohol and drug treatment program, in partnership with Government Ministries, civil society, and non-government organizations.”

Salvation Army’s rehabilitation services targeting alcohol and drug addiction were highlighted as the type of services that would compliment the efforts of the Government.

“Government welcomes this assistance to coincide with its programmes to bring the victims of alcohol and drugs out of addiction, and to equip them to become responsible citizens of this country. More importantly is to bring their lives to the Lord,” said the Prime Minister.

Commissioner Andrew Westrupp, representing the Salvation Army, said Samoa follows in the footsteps of New Zealand, Tonga and Fiji to welcome them.

“We have had a long extending invitation by the Samoan government to be here. I want to thank the Prime Minister of Samoa and all our fellow churches for your warm welcome and as the scriptures said ‘unusual kindness and liberal assistance’ we promise that we will return your good will with staying true to our mission, preparing people, transforming lives, with God’s help,” he said.

We need to be more intentional than ever in reaching out and serving people in need who do not agree with us theologically, even when doing this may not be.

We Need To Be More Intentional Than Ever Before

We need to be more intentional than ever in reaching out and serving people in need who do not agree with us theologically, even when doing this may not be an easy road. Jesus constantly ministered to people regardless of their background; two examples being the Samaritan woman and the lame man at the pool at Bethsaida. By “letting our light shine” just as he did, people who would traditionally never stop to hear the gospel message may do so.

As National Commander, Hudson leads a network of more than 3,500 officers, more than 65,000 employees and nearly 3 million volunteers serving in more than 7,500 centers of operation throughout the United States. He also acts as chairman of the national board of trustees and presides over triannual commissioners’ conferences which bring together the key executive leaders of The Salvation Army’s four territories in the United States.

Commissioner Hudson has been an officer (ordained minister) in The Salvation Army for 43 years. Prior to coming to National Headquarters in Nov. 2015, Commissioner David Hudson was the Chief Secretary for the Western Territory of The Salvation Army, U.S.A. The Hudson’s have a wide range of experience as Salvation Army officers, including several territorial and divisional appointments. Prior to those appointments, the Hudson’s were corps officers for 14 years, including appointments in Oregon, Idaho and Southern California.

Commissioner David Hudson has a Business Management degree and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership.

Partnering with organizations throughout the country helps leverage our resources to meet human need. One example is the Army’s partnership with the Urban League, Lutheran Hope Center and the University of Missouri in opening the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center on the site of the QuikTrip that burned during protests a few years back. We’re working together with these partner organizations to bring healing to a community, as well as much needed services.

Read The Full Article…

New Hagerstown Salvation Army leaders off and running

New Hagerstown Salvation Army leaders off and running

Captains Jimmy and Ashley Taylor are now serving as corps officers for the Salvation Army in Hagerstown.

“We love it. We missed being with the people in the field, being in the trenches, if you will,” said Jimmy Taylor.

The Taylor family, including their 8-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son, recently moved to Hagerstown from Alexandria, Va.

 Jimmy, 37, and Ashley, 33, worked at the divisional headquarters in Washington, D.C., which oversaw 34 Salvation Army units in the Metro D.C. area and those in the state of Virginia doing youth ministry.

After three years in that role, they were assigned to Hagerstown. They started on June 17.

“We’ve embraced the community and really love it. We see amazing opportunities to make a true difference, not in just Hagerstown, but Washington County,” Jimmy Taylor said.

Both of the Taylors grew up with parents who did Salvation Army ministry. As a result, they were transient – Jimmy growing up mostly in Georgia and Oklahoma, and Ashley in Texas, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Jimmy’s parents grew up in Prince George’s County, Md., but he’d never been to Hagerstown before moving here.

Since the Taylors got married 10 years ago, they have served with the Salvation Army in Atlanta, Greenville, S.C., Burlington, N.C., and Washington, D.C.

Jimmy has a background in public relations. He began his work with the Salvation Army as a public relations associate for the state of Texas.

While writing articles and taking photos during Hurricane Katrina, he felt the calling to ministry.

After two years in Atlanta for a “full-on” seminary program — similar to a seminary degree along with administrative training — Jimmy was commissioned and given an assignment.

While Jimmy misses the hustle and bustle of the big city, Ashley doesn’t — especially their 3-hour round-trip commute and the traffic.

“There are a lot of great things we want to build on in the community. We are strategically placed to meet the needs of the community,” Jimmy said of the organization’s location on West Franklin and George streets.

The calendar is busy. There is a 30-bed emergency shelter for women and children and the Manna food program, which feeds an average of 235 people a hot lunch Monday through Friday. There also is a new program called Pathway to Hope, a case management program for families to help them get back on their feet.

Jimmy sees the potential for using the gymnasium for youth programs while partnering with Boys & Girls Club and Girls to fill the gaps.

Jimmy is also pastor of the Salvation Army church and is grateful for the organization’s board members.

Priorities he identified include doing a better job letting the community know the Salvation Army’s story and collaborating with other agencies.

He wants to be a resource and “use what the Lord has given us to meet the most need,” he said.

Also, he wants to expand the programs and make them financially sustainable through donor gifts and grants.

Funding comes from private donors, grants and sales from the Salvation Army Thrift Shop on Frederick Street.

“Every day, I get to do what I love to do — reaching out to the community,” Jimmy Taylor said.

Canadian Salvation Army officers, General Brian and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, begin their service as the international leaders of The Salvation Army

Canadian Becomes Salvation Army World Leader

On August 3, 2018, Canadian Salvation Army officers, General Brian and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, begin their service as the international leaders of The Salvation Army following the retirement of General André Cox and Commissioner Silvia Cox, World President of Women’s Ministries.

As General and World President of Women’s Ministries, the Peddles will be based out of The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters in London, England.

With roots in Newfoundland, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle attended The Salvation Army’s Training College in St. John’s and was commissioned as an officer in 1976. General Brian Peddle was commissioned the following year. The couple began their ministry together after their marriage in 1978 and, for almost four decades, the Peddles have taken on numerous roles in Canada and internationally.

“What excites me is the ongoing reality that people are engaged in mission, and the vibrant activity of the Army continues … the gospel is being preached, suffering humanity is being served, strategies are being planned, schools opening for children, a mobile clinic rolls into a needy community, or a meal is served,” says General Peddle.

“The Army is well and it has the ability to move forward and continue to discover and claim our place in the world.”

General Peddle is the 21st General of The Salvation Army and fifth Canadian to hold the organization’s highest office.

The General and Commissioner Peddle have two daughters, Stephanie and Krista. Stephanie and her husband, Adam, are actively involved in the Sauble Christian Fellowship Community Church in Ontario. Krista and her husband, Tim, are Salvation Army officers, currently serving in Australia. The General and Commissioner Peddle are delighted to have five grandchildren.

The IHQ welcome to the new international leaders will take place on Monday 6 August, and the public welcome – which will be live-streamed – will be held at William Booth College, London, on 23 September.

Salvationists and friends around the world are asked to support their leaders in prayer now and in the coming days.

Click here to read an in-depth interview with General Peddle following his election to the position in May.

Click here to read a detailed career history for General Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle.

Salvation Army DMG Grocery Store

The Freshest Ideas Are in Small Grocery Stores

As big supermarkets struggle, a new crop of local grocery stores are innovating to serve niche audiences and advance social causes. Maj. Gene Hogg, the Salvation Army’s commander for central Maryland, organized mobile kitchens after the twin towers fell in Manhattan and the levees broke in New Orleans. He fed protesters and police officers during the riots that erupted here in 2015 after a young man named Freddie Gray died of injuries he received while in the back of a police van. More than 200 businesses were destroyed, many of them places where people bought food.

Once the city calmed down, he pondered his next move. After three days of prayer and fasting, Mr. Hogg had an answer.

“God said I needed to open a grocery store,” he said.

It wasn’t exactly what he had hoped to hear. What Mr. Hogg, 56, knew about grocery stores he could have scribbled on the back of receipt.

Now, three years later, he can talk about produce and Pop-Tarts like a pro. On a recent Friday afternoon he bounded around the aisles of DMG Foods, a bright, 7,000-square-foot, nonprofit grocery store, showing a customer with a baby how to print a coupon and encouraging another to try the freshly ground chicken.

The market, which opened in March in a working-class neighborhood three miles from where the riots began, is one of a growing number of experimental grocery stores that have emerged as traditional supermarkets confront a crisis that industry analysts say could surpass the retail apocalypse that pounded shopping malls a decade ago.

Violesia Tull shops at DMG Foods, which is slowly changing its inventory to match the needs of shoppers from the neighborhood. Premade salads, fried chicken and tofu are new additions.CreditAndrew Mangum for The New York Times
Maj. Gene Hogg of the Salvation Army was the driving force behind DMG, despite the fact he knew nothing about the supermarket business when he started the project. “God said I needed to open a grocery store,” he said.CreditAndrew Mangum for The New York Times

Most North Americans still buy their food at the classic supermarket, with its wide aisles and seemingly limitless choices. But stores like Kroger, the nation’s largest chain with more than $105 billion in sales in 2017, are being cannibalized by a host of discount competitors like Dollar General and Aldion one side, and by the growing dominance of Amazon and online delivery on the other.

“By and large, supermarkets are kind of behind the eight ball” in responding to changes in how people shop, said Diana Smith, the associate director of retail and apparel for the market research company Mintel.

Customers, especially younger ones, want stores that offer what some industry analysts have come to call “food experiences,” with craft beer on tap, meals to go and vegetable butchers. They tend to shop only when they cook, visiting more than one store to collect ingredients, rather than making a weekly trip to stock the pantry with toilet paper, chuck roast and gallons of milk.

Large chains are throwing everything they can at the problem, planning smaller stores customized for different demographics. Kroger, which already sells clothes at some of its stores, has developed a grab-and-go fashion line called Dip, and is testing driverless delivery. The Midwestern chain Hy-Vee is adding medical clinics and spa-inspired bath boutiques to its stores.

But some of the most radical reinvention is happening at the local level, in both cities and small towns, where a new breed of small community stores use the grocery aisles to fill cultural niches and address social needs.

“There’s a lot of innovation that is geared toward bringing people together and back to their food, which is the opposite of the order-your-food-online thing,” said Brianne Miller, 30, the founder and chief operating officer of Nada, a package-free grocery store she opened in June near downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, with her business partner, Paula Amiama.

At Nada, everything, including toothpaste and chocolate, is sold package-free. Shoppers can buy scoops of frozen berries, a handful of crackers and just one egg, if that’s all they need. There’s no plastic wrap or paper at the deli counter. Customers bring their own containers, buy reusable ones at the store or take some from a stack that have been cleaned and sanitized, using a digital scale to weigh and tag them before they start shopping.

The store won’t be equipped to sell fresh meat, but will soon add cured meats and more frozen seafood (caught in a sustainable way, of course). Suppliers, too, have to be willing to reduce waste: A local coffee roaster, for example, delivers beans in refillable bulk containers.

There’s a similar store, Zero Market, in Denver, and one called the Fillery planned for Brooklyn. No-waste stores are already popular in parts of Europe, and are popping up in other Canadian cities.

Transforming lives through the Salvation Army - Pathway of Hope Program

Transforming lives through the Salvation Army – Pathway of Hope Program

“I wanted to kill myself. I didn’t want to live. Life was that bad. I hated my life, and I was adding two little people to this world.”

April Hickman, 37, was pregnant with her daughter Michilee and had a 1-year-old daughter, Marlee. She was trying to escape from a lifetime of family addiction and poverty. She’d taken to visiting various hospital ER waiting rooms, just so her daughter had a safe, warm place to sleep. She had zero options.

She eventually entered the Salvation Army’s emergency family homeless shelter and later its transitional program. A social worker then made a suggestion that transformed April’s life: enroll in the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program.Today, three 

Today, three years later, Hickman and her daughters have a home and are thriving, and Hickman has launched a business. She discovered she has an affinity for designing and sewing children’s clothing, and with the help of the Salvation Army, she recently launched Wonderfulee Marlee and has plans to grow her designs.

“I said, ‘OK, April, you’ve got to do better,’” she said. “It’s like God was saying, ‘This is your only opportunity. Anything past this point, you have no excuse.’”

Louisville is one of a handful of Salvation Army regions that offer Pathway of Hope. Started in 2014, the program provides individualized services to families trying to break the cycle of poverty and crisis. It’s not considered a Band-Aid, but a long-term commitment to address the root causes of poverty and build stability and self-sufficiency for the family.

“I wasn’t thinking about long-term anything,” said Hickman. “I needed to know where we were going to sleep tonight. No one had ever talked to me about setting goals before. I learned I couldn’t just sit here and wait for good things to come to me, but instead, I had to go out there and be proactive.”

“Families come to us overwhelmed with no direction,” said Johanna Wint, director of the Center for Hope at the Salvation Army. “Pathway of Hope is like a life coach. For the first six to nine months of the program, we stabilize the family by helping with immediate emergency needs, whether it’s rent, bills, social services – all things that allow them to breathe.”

Once the emergency period passes, the Pathway of Hope program works on financial empowerment, including counseling on budgets, housing readiness, job searches and daily life management like cooking, childcare and education assistance. Families work with counselors to map life goals – both immediate and long-term. The goals are broken down into workable tasks that the family progresses through over the course of up to two years.

Read Full Article here…..