A Pathway to Stability and Hope

May 24, 2023 | by The Salvation Army

Lousetta was a grandmother of five living in Garland on a fixed income. With a small amount of expenses and without children at home, her life was comfortable.

One day, that changed.

Lousetta was contacted by Child Protective Services, who chronicled the shocking living conditions her grandchildren had shared with their teachers. Their “bed” was the bare floor. They weren’t given blankets. They were often not bathed; they weren’t told to brush their teeth. And, most shocking to Lousetta, most nights, they curled up to go to sleep hungry and malnourished.

CPS requested that Lousetta take full custody of all five children, to which she urgently obliged. She had to rescue her grandchildren. Desperate to turn their lives around — but stuck with limited income despite CPS’ financial assistance — Lousetta turned to The Salvation Army of North Texas.

The Garland Corps Community Center was introduced to Lousetta through its food pantry program, but its staff recognized she needed additional assistance. The staff invited her to enroll the children in The Salvation Army’s Summer Day Camp: a program that’s striving to transform generations by giving children the enrichment tools under the umbrella of Christian values and leadership.

“The Summer Day Camp helped to emotionally stabilize the children and improve their attitudes,” Lousetta said. “They can now take instructions from me without arguing. They even know how to eat with knives and forks and are very happy.

“I don’t know how I would have been able to take care of these kids had it not been for the support of The Salvation Army Garland Corps.”

Throughout the summer, The Salvation Army of North Texas offers a safe and structured environment while school is out to families across the region. The programs are dedicated to boosting self-esteem and enhancing character development while reinforcing academic concepts learned in school. Counselors are trained to recognize emotional needs, and children are given the opportunity to learn about building relationships with their peers and the world around them.

Children from low-income homes rarely experience life outside of their immediate neighborhood, which is why The Salvation Army’s annual summer programs for children are critical to breaking the cycle of poverty. And for families like Lousetta’s, youth programs are much more than a summer activity — they’re a pathway to stability and hope.

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