Grant money given to organizations helping families overcome poverty

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Tennessee Department of Human Services is accepting applications for grant money to organizations that help families break the cycles of poverty.

At the Salvation Army, their Pathway of Hope program provides individualized services to for families in need.

It helps them overcome obstacles like unemployment, unstable housing and lack of education.

“Every family that enters and completes the program, we have an 80 percent success rate of breaking that cycle of generational poverty and they emerge with a job or a place to stay and being self sufficient. So it is a wonderful program,” Major Mark Smith said.

They plan to use the Two-Generation grant money from the state to expand into Grundy and Sequatchie Counties.

“We will be able to help so many more people because of the state’s emphasis on trying to help families out of poverty,” Major Smith said.

There is a process to become part of the program.

“Families are interviewed to make sure they want to be all in it. Because it does take a lot of work on their part,” Major Smith said.

Organizers say participants see improvement.

“When someone has no hope and they see a life of poverty is all they have and then they discovery that that is not true. That there is a way out. There is a way to become self sustaining. That is miraculous to people,” Major Smith said.

For organizations across the state that are interested in applying for the grant, they have until March 10. For more information or to apply, click here.

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