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Brittany stands in front of her new house

Follow up: Mankato mother reaches all her goals

Added on Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A year ago we told the story of Brittany, a single mother in Mankato, Minn. who’d signed up for a Salvation Army mentoring program called Pathway of Hope (read the original story). She’d just finished addiction treatment and wanted to use the program to help get her life on track. 

Brittany poses with her two daughters“I want a career,” Brittany said at the time. “I want a permanent home for me and my girls.”

A career and home were ambitious goals, considering Brittany’s past. She had used drugs and alcohol for most of her life, hitting her bottom on July 22, 2015. On that day, she parked her car at the edge of a cliff and was going to drive off it.  

“I felt there was nothing to live for,” Brittany recalled. “I couldn’t deal with paying bills on time, showing up for work, and being the mother I needed to be.”

After calling her sister to say goodbye, police officers pinged her location and got to the cliff in time to save her. 

Today, The Salvation Army is proud to report that with help from Pathway of Hope, Brittany has accomplished her goals – and more. 

During the past year, she has kept her job at Dairy Queen and has been promoted four times. She has gone from working 20 hours per week to working 40 hours. 

She has learned to budget her money and is current on all her bills. 

“Before, my landlords were lucky to get half their rent every month,” said Brittany, who’s been using her newfound money management skills to pay down her debt – including a $7,500 bill that had been outstanding since 2014. 

“I used my tax refund to pay that off,” Brittany added, with pride. 

Brittany's new houseIn April, she moved into her very own house (pictured). Previously, she and her two daughters, ages 2 and 7, had been living in a small apartment since August 2016.

“I can’t believe I have a house,” said Brittany, who qualified for a brand-new three-bedroom home from Habitat for Humanity and received a zero-interest loan. “It’s just beautiful.”

Another positive: Her probation and mental health counseling ended several months early due to her profound, sustained transformation. 

“My recovery has made me a better person and a better mom to my girls,” Brittany said. “I have motivation, I have ‘go,’ and I have determination.”

Brittany’s next goal is to get a newer car that is more reliable. She currently drives an older SUV that is on its last leg. 

Brittany and Sherrie Trucker pose togetherBrittany’s Pathway of Hope caseworker, Sherrie Trucker (pictured), is confident she will reach her next goal and continue to reach for the stars. 

“Brittany amazes me,” Trucker said. “A lot of people in recovery get distracted and discouraged. But not Brittany. She never said, ‘This is too hard, I can’t do it.’”

About Pathway of Hope

Pathway of Hope seeks to end poverty by focusing on and eliminating its root causes.

The program is offered at Salvation Army locations across Minnesota and North Dakota, providing free, long-term mentoring for families with children under the age of 18. Each family meets with a case manager at least once a week to set short- and long-term goals such as securing work or housing, obtaining an education, getting a driver’s license, creating a budget, and more. Graduation takes six months to a year.

Right now there are about 125 families enrolled in Pathway of Hope in Minnesota and North Dakota. The majority of families mentored six months or longer increase their overall stability.

Support Pathway of Hope

A gift of $300 helps a Pathway of Hope family accomplish their first goal on the path to stability. Common goals include housing application fees, school books or class fees, clothing for job interviews, license renewal for reliable transportation, mattresses and bed frames, and more.

Give to Pathway of Hope.