Amarillo Pathway of Hope Helps Family of Seven

After her mother died, Beatrice Rhodes struggled, as did her family. They went through hard times and moved to Amarillo, Texas, to get a fresh start. But by the end of 2014, the Rhodes family was in desperate need of emergency shelter – so they went to the Amarillo Corps for help.

The Rhodes family – with five children ages 7 to 15 – moved into the family emergency shelter and, within about a month, they were in housing and had begun the Rapid Rehousing program at the Amarillo Corps. Jennifer Santer, social services coordinator, said she is pairing the Rapid Rehousing funding with the Pathway of Hope funding, so the Amarillo Corps will be able to expand its program to help more people like the Rhodes family.

Beatrice Rhodes, employed at International House of Pancakes, is taking part in one of the partnerships that the Amarillo Corps has with a local college. Amarillo College’s Families in Training program is helping Beatrice work toward an associate’s degree in business, which will help her progress even further along the route to a self-sustainable lifestyle for her family.

Santer said, in addition to Amarillo College, The Salvation Army also has liaisons in the local school district and the community engagement center at a local boys ranch. Most of the Amarillo Corps’ partnerships so far have centered on getting the word out about the Pathway of Hope national initiative that launched in the USA South in spring 2015.

“A lot of people say yes to anything when they’re in crisis,” said Santer. She said the corps’ greatest challenge in implementing Pathway of Hope so far has been finding families who are ready to commit to what it takes. “It’s a lot to ask for people to come in weekly, especially for an extended time, but as we connect with our longer-term Rapid Rehousing program, which focuses more on families, some of those challenges are going to be overcome.”

So far, the corps has been able to help the Rhodes family through education, and another client is taking advantage of the Amarillo College partnership as well. She’s enrolled in the school’s GED program. “We focus on being independent,” said Santer, “and to be independent, to get out of poverty, you need an education.”

Beatrice Rhodes has a 4.0 GPA and is on track to graduate with her degree in 2017. Her goal is to continually rise in the IHOP corporation and provide for her family. While participating in the POH initiative, the Rhodes family has also been attending worship services, character-building programs and Bible study. On Easter Sunday 2016, they became members of the Amarillo Corps.