Several years ago, Blossom was living in California. She was in an abusive relationship with the father of her newborn child and was being exploited by human traffickers. Desperate for help, Blossom fled one December morning and sought refuge with a family in North Carolina that she had never met. She had just 50 dollars in her purse. Everything she owned could fit into just two suitcases. Unfortunately, her new living arrangements fell through just a few months later.
In fleeing one set of dangerous circumstances, Blossom now found herself living on the streets with her son, still less than one year old. Thankfully, she was soon introduced to The Salvation Army Center of Hope.
“I cried my eyes out, I was so scared”, she recalls about first arriving at the shelter. “But I remember they welcomed me with smiles, asking me if I had had anything to eat and if my son needed anything.”
With a new sense of safety and security, Blossom was able to work with her case managers to begin to rebuild her life. Blossom worked hard and soon found herself exploring educational options that would allow her to provide for her son in ways she would not have imagined just a short time before. When one case manager presented her with an opportunity to attend a local community college, Blossom decided to pursue the human services program. The program required a community internship. To her surprise, her experiences came full circle when she was able to return to The Salvation Army to give back while learning to help others in very practical ways.
As with her other opportunities for growth, Blossom worked hard and was hired by The Salvation Army after successfully completing her studies. She is no longer living in poverty but is able to support herself and her son. Blossom continues to work for The Salvation Army, helping to support a new and innovative approach to helping others out of poverty called Pathway of Hope.
“I had been on the other side and it was a blessing to be able to give back. I moved out of public housing. I’m no longer on food stamps and Medicaid.”
Flashing a bright smile, she says proudly, “I have arrived!”