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Salvation Army's "Pathway Of Hope" Program Helps Families Break Poverty Cycle

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Salvation Army plays an important role in putting families on a path towards self-sufficiency.

One of the many ways the Salvation Army tries to improve lives in the Chicago area is through its "Pathway of Hope" program. It's aim is to help families break the cycle of poverty that continue generation to generation. WBBM's Bernie Tafoya has more.

Pathway of Hope families are typically low income. Regional Coordinator Terence Simms said case managers help families find jobs, housing, transportation or even spiritual guidance. He said it is not as simple as 'let's go online and look for a job,' it is accessing skills.

"Skills, such as, do you know when you enter a room, when someone enters a room you stand up, you shake hands, you have eye contact? Things of such nature. Now we don't assume that everyone just knows this," he said.

Simms said Salvation Army makes the client do the work.

"We guide them, we lead them, we give them information, but there is this idea that there is a lack of resources, but in all actuality there really is an abundance of resources you just have to understand how to be resourceful.

"We will gather information for them, of course, identify certain agencies that can help them, but we say 'hey here's a phone number, here's a contact person - call this person, set up an appointment, go and see this person and let's report back and debrief about what you want to talk about and what are the next steps,'" he said.

Simms said some Pathway of Hope clients need help learning how to write resumes or how to act or dress for job interviews. He said the program empowers its clients.


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