Monday, June 18, 2012

Salvation Army launches new program aimed at helping low-income families

The Salvation Army is announcing an innovative new program aimed at guiding low-income families in the Kansas City area on a path from crisis to self-sufficiency.

Pathway of Hope is designed to be a high-impact approach to assistance by focusing on finding the root causes keeping families from becoming self-sufficient.

The program will target families with children in an effort to impact generational poverty.

“Our goal is to target families who are repeat emergency assistance applicants, providing long-term case management to help them move beyond crisis to increased stability, while building hope at each step,” said Major Charles Smith, divisional commander of The Salvation Army in Kansas City. “By targeting families with children, the impact of the program is doubled, in that two generations are touched by one program. Studies show children who grow up in poverty are 32 times more likely to be in poverty as adults.”

Families accepted into the program will work with trained social workers on a long-term intensive case management basis, providing them life skills training and potential resources to address their specific barriers to increased stability.

The program is expected to begin in September and will accommodate 60-80 families per year.

The Pathway of Hope program is being funded in part by a $3 million grant, distributed over a three year period from the Hall Family Foundation.

“The Hall Family Foundation Board of Directors saw the Pathway of Hope project as a well-organized new initiative for Kansas City that could have major impact in our local fight against poverty, particularly in these challenging economic times,” said Angela Andresen McClelland, vice president of the Hall Family Foundation. “The recession led to long-term unemployment and homelessness for many families who never thought they’d find themselves in such a vulnerable situation.  We believe the design of the Pathways of Hope project will allow it to strengthen people in situations of financial crisis, giving families and kids tools to help them reach a place of greater stability.”

In 2011, The Salvation Army in Kansas City provided basic emergency assistance services to 88,200 individuals, a 16 percent increase from 2010.

The Salvation Army is seeking partner agencies to work with to increase the impact of the Pathway of Hope program in the Kansas City community.