Donations in Action: Old man endures fivefold tragedy

Apr 7, 2021

"Donations in Action" is a regular series about the many ways The Salvation Army Northern Division and our supporters serve people and families in Minnesota and North Dakota. The stories below provide examples of how our staff, volunteers, donors, and partners are making a positive impact during these uncertain times.

Please join us by giving a donation. Your gift will provide emergency assistance for those who desperately need it. 

Fivefold tragedy

An older gentleman came to us in desperate need after experiencing five monumental tragedies in a row. In the span of less than a year, he had lost two brothers to COVID-19; he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; his wife left him; and he lost his job. 

Due to this string of tragic events, the man fell far behind on his rent and had no way to pay it back.  

Thankfully, our caseworker was able to help. She used donations to The Salvation Army and funds from partner agencies to get the man caught up on his rent. She also gave him food and prayed with him. 

“He cried tears of joy,” the caseworker said. “Every now and then we meet someone who needs an extra heavy push to get back on track. With the help of our donors and partner agencies, it was amazing to be able to help this man with the full amount of money needed.”

Spreading his wings

One of the youngest residents of a Salvation Army youth housing facility in St. Paul recently secured his own market-rate apartment. 

The young man is an older teenager who’d come a long way. He’d been working hard for two years, during which time his Salvation Army caseworker provided counseling, coaching, and budgeting lessons. The young man had finally gained the maturity and confidence he needed to live on his own.


“We could not be more proud of the steps this young man made toward his success,” the caseworker said.

The youth housing facility, called Booth Brown House, provides emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing for dozens of formerly homeless youth and young adults. The facility is a lifeline for youth with no place left to turn.    

Gainfully employed

Recently we helped a homeless single mother find a job, after which many other good things followed. 

We first met the mother during a housing assessment. After our caseworker helped her get on a waiting list for permanent housing, the two of them discussed ways that the mother could find a job. They concluded that the mother could train to become a phlebotomy technician. 

The mother began working to obtain her certification. When her training was complete, our caseworker contacted a partner agency that was willing to pay the cost of the final exam. The mother took the exam and passed. 

Not long after the mother passed her exam, she found a job working at a local hospital. She also secured permanent housing and bought a car. 

“This woman is a true success story,” the caseworker said. “I am so happy for her and her son. I cannot wait to see what goals she accomplishes next.”   

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.

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