by Jill, a Pathway of Hope participant

Pathway of Hope (POH) has been such a blessing for me and my children that it crosses my mind at least once a day. The difference of where I was just a year ago and where I am now is incredible.

About three years ago I went through a difficult divorce. It’s been a long, hard road. I have moved five times and have been homeless twice. I lived on less than check-to-check. I struggled to put dinner on the table and gas in the car, have what my kids needed for school—to say nothing of maintenance to keep my late model vehicle going. This created long stretches of stress and depression which affected how I was as a parent and an employee. I definitely wasn’t living my best life.

I walked into The Salvation Army bawling my eyes out and with my youngest child clinging to me. It was my last cry for help. I was homeless again and trying to pay for hotels or Airbnbs so we’d have a place to sleep—assuring my kids things would get better even though I wasn’t too sure. I was thankful to have a job, but my income wasn’t enough to live on; yet, it was just enough that we couldn’t get help from the state.

I met with Anne Walli, the caseworker at the Rock County, Wis., Corps, a few times after that initial visit. She walked me through what POH entails. It was made for people like me. I couldn’t believe there was  something like this available and thank God I was given this opportunity.

POH taught me so much, especially in light of the pandemic. If it had happened a year ago, I don’t know where I would have ended up. I was placed on furlough by my employer; last year that would have destroyed me. But since enrolling in POH, I have a steady affordable place to live, and I purchased a new car which is fully insured. I even have money in the bank for emergencies. I can afford what we need, and we have more than what we want. I am financially stable. I haven’t been able to say this since before my oldest daughter was born. I have learned how to budget and handle daily stressors. I am a better mom and a happier, healthier person.

I am not ashamed to be me anymore. I am proud of where I am and who I am. Thank you to POH and all the people who make it possible. And thank you, Anne, for being my rock, my comic relief, my shoulder to cry on and my redirector when I need it. God puts people in our path for a reason, and you were definitely put in mine. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

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