Meet Karen

Karen’s journey to The Salvation Army was unique. She had an apartment and stable living situation. Then her health issues started getting worse. The cause…mold in her apartment. Her doctor told her she needed to move immediately in order to keep herself from becoming critically ill…but with the lack of attainable housing in Nashville, she was forced to choose between her home or her health. She chose her health and started living in her car.

That’s when she found the Salvation Army. “I felt hopeless, and they just welcomed me in with open arms. That meant the world to me,” said Karen. While she went through the supportive housing program, she was provided meals, rides to her doctor’s appointments, and a home. “It gave me hope. It gave me structure. It restored me. They made me feel like a person. They treated me like family.”

During her stay with The Salvation Army, she underwent a hip replacement, but her case manager continued to work on her behalf to achieve Karen’s ultimate goal. “The day I was discharged from the hospital, I moved into my new apartment,” she says.

Karen continued, “I am grateful that they gave me the motivation to keep going. And, despite my downfalls and obstacles that were in my way, they were right there – every step of the way – encouraging me. Salvation Army gave me a lot of hope. They restored my dignity. The key word here is Salvation. For me, it was Salvation…and that’s what I got.”

Misty Ratcliff, Development and Communications Manager, The Salvation Army –

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