For Missy Francis, pure bliss is sitting on her home’s deck, feeling a breeze rolling off the nearby lake. Her four cats peek out at her from a large bay window.
Missy’s home in Warsaw, Ind., was built through a partnership between The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity.
The house has three bedrooms, including a room where Missy’s train-loving grandson can watch trains
chugging down the tracks. It has a porch and a crawl space. And it’s all hers.
Habitat for Humanity has been partnering with The Salvation Army in Warsaw for about 10 years, since the inception of the Pathway of Hope initiative, said Envoy Ken Locke, Warsaw corps administrator.
“A relationship between The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity is such a win-win,” Envoy Ken said. “We complement each other’s ministries. We [the Army] can help with preparing a family and working with Habitat to move in that direction.
And Habitat can physically build. Our missions are very similar; helping people move forward and getting them out of poverty.”
Apart from the land for Missy’s home, The Salvation Army recently donated a second lot to Habitat for
Humanity for another family in need in Warsaw. And more homebuilding projects are being planned.
For Missy, life as a single mother of two boys had been a struggle for many years. She often turned to community resources for food or help paying rent.
When she stepped through the doors of the Warsaw Corps, she met Envoy Ken, who introduced her to
POH. Through it, Missy received guidance with budgeting and setting goals to get off public-assistance programs.
Her life gradually improved, but even after she achieved her POH goals she stayed connected to the Warsaw Corps and at times turned to the caseworker and Envoy Ken for guidance.
It was Envoy Ken who helped oversee the donation of an empty Salvation Army-owned lot near the corps to Habitat for Humanity to help those in the community who needed housing, including POH families like Missy’s, and to improve the neighborhood around the corps.
Over the next six to seven years, the building process ran its course. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed things for a time, and more recently, there was a delay in getting supplies.
“At times, it seemed that for Missy’s Habitat build, everything worked against it. But we just kept moving forward,” Envoy Ken said.
Missy even partnered with Profitable Solutions Fundraising and sold laundry soap to the public to help raise money for her house.
In October, Missy was finally given the keys to her home at an opening reception. Now she can look out her front door and see the corps where her journey to independence began.
With a new job at an orthopedic company and her Habitat for Humanity home, Missy has a new outlook on life.
“I am so blessed to be here. The people at The Salvation Army are the most amazing people I have ever met,” she said. “They are very nonjudgmental. Needing to ask for help is nothing anyone should ever be embarrassed about.”
Missy plans to give back to the corps by giving her time.
“I am ready to start volunteering, returning the favor to The Salvation Army. They were there to help me in my time of need.”