Norridge Salvation Army offers aid with poverty
by BRIAN NADIG
Helping families to overcome poverty is one of the many programs offered by the Salvation Army Norridge Citadel Corps Community Center, 8354 W. Foster Ave.
A program called "Pathway of Hope" is designed to identify the barriers to a parent’s ability to become self-sufficient and to provide the resources to be successful, said Pamela Church-Pryor, the director of community ministries for the Norridge Salvation Army.
A family’s dependence on food stamps or other government assistance can sometimes be multi-generational, and the program hopes to end the cycle of dependency, Church-Pryor said. "It’s not lack of will," she said. "It’s not what they want. It’s all they know."
Church-Pryor was the guest speaker at the Nov. 27 meeting of the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association at Pasta D’ Arte restaurant, 6311 N. Milwaukee Ave.
While the Salvation Army is commonly associated with the red collection kettles outside of stores during the holidays, the organization provides a wide range of social and other services throughout the year, Church-Pryor said.
Under the pathway program, participants must have at least one child age 18 and younger and are assigned a caseworker to developer a plan of action and to receive the proper resources to get a job.
The challenges facing participants can include the need for childcare and a lack of transportation and access to a job-training program, Church-Pryor said. In some instances, participants may need help in obtaining the General Educational Development certification.
The Norridge facility also hosts parenting classes and free music programs.
"We don’t even charge a rental fee (for the instruments)," Church-Pryor said.
In addition, the Salvation Army Rock After School Program serves children in kindergarten through eighth grade and includes tutoring services and soccer clinics, which are provided by Youth Soccer International. The Norridge Salvation Army also will be providing 300 families, including more than 900 children, with food and toys for the holidays, she said.
For more information about the Salvation Army’s services, call the Norridge Citadel at 708-456-6220.
Also at the meeting, it was reported that the association is planning to start a scholarship program but details have not been worked out yet.