Pathway of Hope in Sioux Falls

Cassy's orgins come from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in south-central South Dakota.  She does not, however, remember much about it; only remembers sitting at her dying mother's bedside.  Everything else, she recently shared, was pretty much a blur.

Cassy was soon sent to foster care where, at nine-years-old, her new-found parents relocated to Tucson, Arizona.  She remembers this as being mostly a happy experience--watching waterfalls during family outings--when they "took to the mountains."  After five years, this serenity came to a halt.  Her foster mother took to drugs...and was lost.  When she was located sleeping in the desert, the state removed Cassy from her foster family.  At 14-years-old, Cassy returned to Sioux Falls, South Dakota--to an unsupportive family.

As a young adult, life was hard for Cassy.  She married, only to be in a controlling and abusive environment.  Pregnant with her fifth child, Cassy remembers running through a corn field while her husband tried "to run me down."  She added, "The only way to survive was to get away."  With resolve, Cassy packed up her children and left; though her husband's stalking forced Cassy to always be in hiding.  

Cassy recently stated, "I struggled within mysel;" adding that alcohol addiction and homelessness took their toll.  She shared, "I knew I needed help...[Pathway of Hope] was my last resource for reaching out."  While living in Bishop Dudley's Hospitality House and utilizing resources from Sioux Fall's Salvation Army, Cassy met Darlos Cook--Pathway's Case manager.

"All my life people say, 'Cassy, you need to trust people'--no I ain't" retorted Cassy.  But she quickly conceded that Darlos "doesn't hold my past against me--not judgemental...she sat down and actually visited with me."

When asked what receiving the Pathway Certificate meant to her, Cassy replied, "It gave me a sense of accomplishment.  A lot of people didn't give me a chance to prove myself...she [Darlos] did!"

This is how we begin breaking the cycle of poverty within our community.  Won't you join with us in making families facing circumstances like Cassy's a success?  Donations are needed to help fund this exceptional program in Sioux Falls.  Contact Marcie Priestley at 605-338-6649 ext 317 for more information.  


Together, we can begin changing the lives of struggling families within our community and assist them in achieveing a brighter and healthier future.