The Salvation Army is known to many as a last-resort when it comes to paying utility bills, rent or other costly expenses that are incurred in today’s world. Looking to ease the need for people to search for financial assistance, The Salvation Army recently launched the Bridges Out of Poverty initiative to help people break the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. Picking up steam, The Salvation Army’s Arkansas & Oklahoma Division has launched the program in 12 locations, with several more scheduled to launch within the year.
Gaining the attention of local leaders and businesses, The Salvation Army of Shawnee, Oklahoma was recently the recipient of a $220,000 grant from the Avedis Foundation, specifically designated for the Bridges Initiative, which will be spent over the course of 3 years. The funding will allow The Salvation Army to hire a new employee that will be in charge of the Bridges Out of Poverty program in Shawnee, as well as cover the cost of as many trainings andmaterials as possible.
Excited about the launch of the program in his community, Lt. Philip Canning, Corps Officer in Shawnee notes that “the most exciting thing about it all is the realization that we’re bringing the whole community together to address real issues that people have known are a problem, but no one has been able to step up to the plate – and we’re going to do that.”
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services office has also noted the launch of the initiative within The Salvation Army’s Arkansas & Oklahoma Division, and recently recognized the Divisional Social Services Director Debbie Price as a community partner during the DHS Awards Ceremony. Her award was given in recognition of her work within Bridges Out of Poverty.