VIP grant to help fund Pathway of Hope program

Fourth grade students from El Dorado schools' cited and talented program ring Salvation Army bells and sing Christmas carols outside of Walmart Dec. 19, 2019.
Fourth grade students from El Dorado schools' cited and talented program ring Salvation Army bells and sing Christmas carols outside of Walmart Dec. 19, 2019.

Editor's note: The SHARE Foundation recently announced grants to 11 area nonprofits focused on intervention and prevention of crime and violence through the foundation’s Union County Violence Intervention Plan (VIP). This story is part of a series of articles highlighting the programs funded, at least in part, with those grants.

One of the Salvation Army of El Dorado’s goals is to help local families break the generational cycle of poverty, according to corps commander Capt. Jason Perdieu. One of the primary methods the Salvation Army accomplishes this is through the Pathway of Hope program, which just got a significant boost from the SHARE Foundation via a $32,500 VIP grant.

“It’s really an extension of of social services program,” Perdieu said. “When our social services director interacts with clients, he does an assessment to determine what their goals are. For those who seem to really have the desire to move forward, if they qualify for Pathway of Hope, we provide them with a more in-depth, intense program.”

The program provides a specific case worker and includes life skills classes, assistance in finding a job, childcare, transportation and more. A matrix tool assesses strengths and weaknesses and tracks improvement while moving the family away from poverty and the causes of poverty, according to Perdieu.

“This money helps us continue to invest in the lives of people, and not just financially,” Perdieu said. “There’s a pastoral care aspect to this as well. People feel doomed by their past, but with everything we offer, like budgeting classes, life skills classes, etc., it helps break that cycle."

Perdieu said that individuals who come in for rent or utility assistance are screened for the program, and the program has helped several residents in the past year.

About the grants: The SHARE Foundation recently announced grants to 11 area nonprofits focused on intervention and prevention of crime and violence through the foundation’s Union County Violence Intervention Plan (VIP). The grants, totaling $324,371 dollars, are the organization’s third round of VIP grants and thirty-second round of grant awards overall. With the grant announcement, the SHARE Foundation has now give more than $8 million in grants and strategic initiatives to 91 different nonprofits operating in Union County, according to a press release from the organization. The grants fund items including operations, specific programs, software purchases and more.

SHARE’s VIP program began in 2018 and focuses on six areas: mentoring, re-entry, neighborhood watches/clean neighborhoods, parenting/life skills, jobs/targeted education, and mental health/substance and drug abuse.

For more details on the SHARE Foundation, visit their website at sharefoundation.com. The foundation’s Violence Intervention Plan, it’s strategies and intended outcomes are available to review. Contact Debbie Watts, vice president of community impact at SHARE Foundation at 870-881-9015 for more information or to get involved.

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