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The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware on Thursday celebrated a $750,000 grant for its program aimed at bringing families out of poverty and into financial stability.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education grant will bolster the Pathway of Hope program, which was implemented in 2015 and has since served more than 200 families.

"We've been talking about poverty all my lifetime; nothing has changed," said state Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township, who helped procure the grant. "If we're going to stop poverty in this country, it's with people like what is happening here at the Salvation Army."

More: Salvation Army feeds 800 York families with new partnership

The Pathway of Hope program works by putting case managers in touch with struggling families for both social and spiritual support. It then connects the family with services for housing, health, jobs, child care, education and legal services.

Melissa Gross, who graduated from the program, on Thursday spoke of the impact it had on her life as a struggling mother with a son diagnosed with high-functioning autism.

The program not only helped her gain financial independence and purchase a home, Gross said, but also provided services for her son.

"I can truly say that going through the Pathway of Hope program is the best thing that could have ever happened to me in my life," she said.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.

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