The Salvation Army of Michigan City will launch a new 12-week session of “Bridges Out of Poverty: Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’ By World” beginning on Wednesday, February 7. Classes will take place every Wednesday at The Salvation Army, 1201 Franklin Street, at 5:00 pm. This will be the fifth series of Bridges hosted by The Salvation Army, a program that Major Becky Simmons feels is needed in the Michigan City community as a way of helping residents identify and overcome barriers.

“This class is ideal for anyone who wants to make a change in their life,” said Simmons, who oversees The Salvation Army of Michigan City with her husband, Major Dale Simmons. “Bridges really focuses on individuals as a whole person, talking about our childhood experience, how we grew up, and how that all impacts the decisions we make as adults. It’s a great opportunity for anyone who is at a point in their life that they’re ready to do something different and finally get ahead.”

Those attending Bridges can learn: the realities of conditions in your community and how they impact you; some ‘hidden rules’ for getting ahead; skills that give you confidence to do what it takes to get ahead; how to build resources and make connection at home and at work; and ways to deal with change and create stability in your life.

Bridges: Getting Ahead is free and open to the public. Free childcare is provided during the class, and a free dinner is served after the class. Sessions are led by Kimberley Williams, who is a certified facilitator of this program.

Incentives are available throughout this session, providing small celebrations along the way. “We believe it’s important to keep people engaged and feel motivated as they work through 12 weeks of material, so we offer benefits to those who commit to attending classes regularly,” Simmons said. “But more importantly, we can see a change in the mindset of folks taking this course. They begin to better understand their own past and start to truly believe they can and will do something differing to move forward.”

With numerous graduates from this program, Simmons said she truly believes in this program and looks forward to welcoming new attendees this year. Those interested can simply plan to attend the first session on February 7. More information about Bridges and Pathway of Hope is available by contacting Melissa at (219) 874-6885.

For those seeking longer-term support, The Salvation Army also offers Pathway of Hope – a 12 to 18-month case management program available to families with at least one child under the age of 18 in the home and focuses on breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Enrollment for this program is open year-round. Other programs and services offered by The Salvation Army of Michigan City include a food pantry, diaper bank, utility assistance, summer camp, free clothing room, weekend backpack feeding program, and seasonal assistance. For more information, contact The Salvation Army at (219) 874-6885 or visit