Pathway’s plan gives new start to Fla. woman
By: Brad Rowland
Laticia Johnson, a single mother of five, was a full-time student and held down a full-time job. On top of those demands, she faced significant financial challenges. When the lights in her Bradenton, Florida, home were nearing the point of forced shutdown, a friend pointed her in the direction of The Salvation Army and the Pathway of Hope program, and she is thankful for that recommendation.
Johnson was connected with Lynn Rosa, case manager specialist and Pathway of Hope Life Skills Center coordinator in Bradenton, and there was an instant connection of understanding.
“When I met with Mrs. Lynn, we instantly clicked and she made me feel comfortable,” Johnson said. “She helped me with things like budgeting, couponing and ways I can manage my money to prevent me from being in that situation again. My experience was great.”
The Pathway of Hope program expanded in Bradenton with the opening of the Life Skills Center last summer and Johnson first walked through the door shortly thereafter in July.
Given the purpose of the program to help families overcome challenges toward a path of increased stability and self-sufficiency, the desire to help one’s self is important, and Johnson certainly brought that desire to the table.
“Everybody needs help sometimes,” Johnson said. “It was great to find out that there are programs like this that help single, working mothers. They make you realize that you are not alone, and they genuinely care. Mrs. Lynn has taught me a new outlook on money, and I have been applying what I’ve learned ever since.”
Johnson, and many others in Bradenton, are aided with life skills lessons, couponing, budgetary planning and even direct assistance. “I would definitely recommend someone to this program,” Johnson said, “because they don’t just help you financially. They also instill values and help you feel good about yourself so you can continue to help yourself.”
A strong, helpful case manager and a plan in place have worked wonders for Johnson, and, as a result, she is poised to pass on the work and provide support for others.
“I want to be a bright eye for young, single mothers. I want to help open doors for young mothers to be able to help themselves become great mothers. It can get hard and lonely out here. Not everyone is looking for a handout, and I want to extend my hand to help out and remind people that all things are possible through Christ.”