SAN ANTONIO — A new initiative (Bridge) taken on by San Antonio’s Salvation Army is helping women get back on their feet.
“Coming here was just like a wakeup call to me. What brought me over here was a bad relationship. I went through so much. My daughter got taken away because of that and I didn’t know where else to go,” said Salvation Army Bridge program participant Mary Rocha.
Like so many women Mary Rocha doesn’t know where she’d be without the Salvation Army’s Emergency Family Shelter. Now, thanks to a newly implemented program in San Antonio called Bridge, she’s taking her future into her own hands.
Director of Social Services Robert Galan says it stands for Building Resilience in Discipline, Growth and Empowerment.
“Unfortunately, what was happening was people were staying here for a certain number of days, and leaving in the same position in which they got here,” Galan said.
Bridge allows women like Rocha to extend their stay based on setting and meeting goals.
For $87.50 a week, women receive three hot meals a day, a clean place to sleep and shower, a secure place to keep their things and access to help finding employment and services.
Rocha is an example of the program working.
“I do restorative aid, I assist with physical therapy. The two things I look forward to every day is my job and coming here. I’m really serious about getting my life together. They’ll be there for me one-hundred percent. That’s where I’m at right now. I’m only one step away from getting my apartment, somewhere I can finally call home,” Rocha said.
“One-hundred percent of the monies that are received in program service fees go towards this shelter,” Galan said.
Rocha is looking forward to getting her life back and sharing it with her daughter.
“My daughter is excited and she’s happy for me and proud of me. She got a full paid scholarship for nursing. It’s not just a shelter they provide. There’s so many programs that they have here to help out people that are struggling and willing to get back on their feet,” Rocha said.
A will to succeed and the guidance to make it happen.