The Help Priscilla Never Thought She’d Need

Sep 8, 2020

Priscilla never dreamed she’d need to ask for assistance. “I’d always been able to take care of myself,” she said. She was a successful therapist finishing up her doctoral studies, physically active and healthy. But an injury and the coronavirus led her to do something she never thought she’d have to – seek help from The Salvation Army.

When Priscilla twisted her knee last year, she went to the doctor, who diagnosed her with degenerative arthritis. While she waited for her surgery, Priscilla battled debilitating pain. “It shut me down,” she said. “Everything else fell to the wayside.”

Priscilla’s surgery was postponed when COVID-19 hit the U.S. The pain continued, and so did her absence from work. Priscilla, who lives alone, was unable walk or drive, so getting to work became impossible.

Her income diminished, but her bills remained constant. Soon she was behind on rent. “I didn’t know where else to turn,” she said. Then a friend suggested she see if The Salvation Army could help.

With a sense of failure and shame, Priscilla approached The Salvation Army. “I felt bad asking for help,” she said. But she was pleasantly surprised by the staff member she met with. “She was so sweet and kind,” Priscilla said, adding she was treated with dignity and respect. “She gave me hope.”

The Army provided funds to cover Priscilla’s back rent, removing the weight she had been carrying around for months. “It meant I could finally go to bed and sleep,” she said, on the verge of tears. “Because when you’re worried about where you’re going to live, it’s traumatic.”

While she waits for her rescheduled surgery, Priscilla survives on pain medication and prayer. “I wouldn’t make it if I didn’t have prayer,” she said. She spends her days working on her dissertation and holding online therapy appointments.

As she navigates her new normal, Priscilla is grateful for the help she received from The Salvation Army. “They were there to help me get through the pandemic,” she said. “To me, The Salvation Army means survival.”

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