The Salvation Army serves people in every zip code in the United States, which means that no matter where you live, there’s a Salvation Army representative ready to try to help. In Indiana, counties without bricks-and-mortar Salvation Army buildings have trained volunteers who use Salvation Army funds to help people in need with emergency assistance.These Sevice Extension volunteers also work with other local agencies to pool resources and offer more comprehensive services to their local communities.
Dubois County, in southern Indiana, is part of this all-volunteer Salvation Army Service Extension network. Recently, a young woman named Angie learned first-hand how a little help at the right time could make a big impact on her family’s future.
Angie was starting over, but she was with almost no possessions to her name. She’d fled her home and marriage when her husband’s drug addiction became too much for her and her young daughter to manage. After a short time living in a friend’s basement, Angie knew it was time to find a place that they could once more call home. She learned from local TRI-CAP Housing Services Director, Neil Elkins, of a property the agency had opened through the HUD Neighborhood Stabilization Project. Even though Angie was employed at an area nursing home, she didn’t have enough saved to transition to a rental property.
That was when Neil switched his TRI-CAP hat for a Salvation Army one. As the Service Extension representative for The Salvation Army in Dubois County, he knew that funds were available to help people like Angie get the “hand up” they needed in times of duress. He secured funds to pay for utility hook ups in the rental home so that Angie and her daughter could quickly move in.
It was obvious from the beginning that Angie took great pride in her new home. Between working full time, taking care of her daughter, and working toward her Certified Nursing Assistant degree, Angie threw herself into home improvement projects. From landscaping the tidy yard to painting walls and tackling minor repairs, she quickly turned a humble rental property into a warm and welcoming home.
After just three months in the property, Angie had earned her CAN degree and a promotion to a supervisory position at her place of employment. She was still struggling, but thanks to a small raise was able to start saving again. Neil took notice, and starting talking with Angie about the possibility of home ownership.
“She got really excited at the idea of owning her home,” Neil recalls. “She’s someone who’s really taken it upon herself, which is just what we were looking for.” After facing homelessness just a few months ago, Angie is now saving up for a down payment on the house she has turned into a home. It’s a dream come true that started with a simple hand up at a crucial moment.
“The benefit from The Salvation Army was what we needed to be able to get her utilities turned on again and get her into that home,” Neil explains. “It’s nice to have The Salvation Army because that’s something that normally I can administer here very quickly and take care of those immediate needs.”
Because of donors like you, The Salvation Army is helping Hoosiers like Angie and her daughter every day in big and small ways. On behalf of every person whose dream you helped to become a reality, thank you.