Single moms persevere during COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has been tough on everyone, including single moms who are enrolled in a Salvation Army program called Pathway of Hope.
Pathway of Hope is a long-term mentoring program that gives at-risk families tools to overcome their biggest barriers to success. Each family meets with a Salvation Army caseworker weekly to set goals and create a plan of action.
Due to COVID-19, many of these goals have been much harder to achieve. Quarantine has made it difficult for some mothers to attend classes, or take a driver’s test, or complete other tasks that help them move forward.
Thankfully, the single mothers highlighted below have not allowed unexpected setbacks to knock them down. These women are shining examples of how your donations are helping women to persevere amid difficult circumstances. Donate now.
Tneeshia enrolled in Pathway of Hope just before COVID-19 struck. Soon after she joined the program, a Salvation Army case worker named Melissa helped her find housing and get enrolled in a GED program.
By early March, Tneeshia and her 2-year-old son had moved into an apartment, and Tneeshia was taking in-person education classes.
Unfortunately, Tneeshia’s quest to obtain her high school diploma was jeopardized when Minnesota’s stay-at-home order forced her to stay in her apartment without daycare. This put her in the difficult position of juggling online schooling and caring for her toddler.
Melissa encouraged Tneeshia not to give up. She called Tneeshia regularly and delivered food to her home, along with household items such as a bathroom set and dishes.
“Melissa was amazing,” Tneeshia said. “I couldn’t ask for more than what she did for me.”
Tneeshia’s hard work paid off. A few weeks ago, she earned enough credits to obtain her high school diploma. Her next goals are to find a job and daycare, and obtain a driver’s license.
“I am so excited to see what is ahead for this mother and her bright future,” Melissa said.
‘Thielen’ good about life
Tamekia and her teenage son had been homeless for many months, living with friends. She enrolled in Pathway of Hope in December, and now her life is remarkably better – with added support from Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen.
Tamekia’s Pathway of Hope case worker, Melissa, helped her get a manufacturing job after she was laid off from her full-time position with the government. The new job took place during second-shift, which would allow her to keep both jobs if she got called back to her government position.
Tamekia did get called back, and now she works both jobs. With guidance from Melissa, she has learned to budget her money and she has paid off most of her credit card debt.
“Tamekia is a hard worker and an amazing mom,” Melissa said. “She does what she has to do to provide a better life for herself and her son.”
The Thielen Foundation helped bring Tamekia and her son across the finish line by paying hundreds of dollars toward the down payment for an apartment. Tamekia and her son moved into their new home May 1.
The Thielen Foundation also supported Tamekia during the holiday season by providing Christmas presents for her and her son during a party that The Salvation Army organized at Mall of America.
“I thank God for The Salvation Army and the Thielen Foundation,” Tamekia said. “Ever since I’ve had them in my corner, I’ve been thriving.”
Dreams becoming reality
Kelley never thought she’d be out of a job, and she never imagined she’d be standing in line for bread at The Salvation Army in Williston, N.D. Yet these were her circumstances.
“I made some bad choices for my life in the past year,” admitted Kelley, who struggles with addiction.
Several months ago, while waiting her turn to receive food at the Williston Salvation Army, Kelley struck up a conversation with the location’s case worker, Priscilla, who leads Pathway of Hope. Priscilla explained how the program would help Kelley to navigate her challenges, focus on her strengths, and chart a course for a better future.
Kelley enrolled in Pathway of Hope immediately.
“(Priscilla) listened to my story and empathized with my needs,” Kelley said. “She compassionately motivated me to consider my long-term goals and work out a personalized action plan for my dreams.”
In addition to being Kelley’s cheerleader, Priscilla also connected Kelley to a network of community resources that helped support her material and spiritual needs.
Kelley is now well on her way to realizing her dreams, despite the challenges of COVID-19. She has secured a good job, and she is eager to encourage other women who need support.
“I am hopeful to … become a role model to women struggling with fear and hopelessness in the Williston community,” Kelley said.
Priscilla is proud of Kelley and the 20 other Pathway of Hope women she is serving.
“We are embracing the skills and strengths of these women and challenging them to strive to turn their dreams into reality,” Priscilla said.
Please join The Salvation Army in serving those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.
If you are feeling lonely, fearful or hopeless due to the COVID-19 crisis, call our Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline at 877-220-4195 anytime between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Central Time. Trained Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers will be available to talk, listen to you, and pray for you.