Program Helps Families Plant Seeds of Greatness

Feb 2019

February is Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month, which was established to help people remove barriers to their success and make changes to better their lives.

That description reminds us of Mary, a single working mother determined to build a better life for her three children. Mary enrolled in Pathways to Progress, a Catholic Charities of St. Louis program administered through one of our eight federated agencies, St. Francis Community Services.

Through her Pathways advisor, Mary was connected to several Catholic Charities agencies and other community partners that provided personal finance, career, legal, and tax counseling, as well as assistance with car repairs and back-to-school necessities.

As Mary worked on her Pathways goals, life kept happening. Generously looking past her own limited resources, she temporarily took in a child whose mother was struggling with addiction and then, tragically, passed away. At that time, Catholic Charities was also able to provide Mary and her family grief counseling and foster parenting advice.

Mary continues on her path to independence. Last month, she closed on a house. It needs repairs before occupancy, but Mary is taking active steps to improve her credit score in order to secure a loan.

“Financially and emotionally, I was in a dark place,” she said. “But this program has been like a breath of fresh air. Pathways is like family to my children and me.”

Pathways to Progress offers qualifying families long-term intensive case management that provides a variety of support and resources in areas like employment training and retention; financial literacy; life skills; health/mental health; legal assistance; and direct connection to other community resources.

Learn more at

Pathways to Progress. Building stronger communities. One family at a time.