In October 2012, Ed Logan was realizing his dream of living on a sailboat just off of Staten Island—until Hurricane Sandy destroyed his boat and took away everything he had.
After spending more than seven months at a hurricane shelter, Logan was connected with the local Salvation Army in New York, which provided him with a train ticket back to his former home, Chicago. Once in the city, Logan planned to rebuild his life. He also hoped to reconnect with his teenage son, from whom he had become estranged following his divorce.
In May 2013, when Logan initially came to Chicago with nothing to his name, he found temporary shelter at a local YMCA. Having no way to prepare meals in his room, he frequently ate fast food, which required what little money he had. Shortly after his arrival, Logan connected with the local Salvation Army corps community center down the street.
Staff members at the Irving Park Corps Community Center immediately signed Logan up for the food pantry and provided him with dry food staples and fresh fruits and vegetables. They also helped him get a haircut, which he wanted so he could start his job search.
Since Logan’s needs were much greater than simply obtaining food and a haircut, he was referred to The Salvation Army’s Emergency Assistance Case Management department and paired with Pathway of Hope case manager Marcus Buckley.
Once enrolled in Pathway of Hope, Logan received rental assistance, food, clothing, job training and essential household items including an iron and ironing board.
“Sometimes it is the smallest things that make the biggest difference,” Logan said. Additionally, he worked with Buckley to set goals for regaining his independence and stability.
Logan’s biggest need was getting around the city. “In order to do anything, you really need access to transportation,” he said. “Mainly I needed transportation to interviews to pursue jobs further from where I lived.”
Buckley met regularly with Logan to check in, work on each step toward independence and provide consistent encouragement. “In addition to the support programs we provide, sometimes our clients just need encouragement that they can improve their situation,” said Buckley.
Today, Logan has secured employment with Levy Restaurants at the United Center. He works in food preparation and as a cashier during games, concerts and events and enjoys interacting with the different athletes, celebrities and customers. He has also developed a fulfilling relationship with his son. “He’s busy so I don’t see him a lot, but I love our visits. I’m very proud of him.”
“I came to The Salvation Army just looking for basic help — clothes, some food and transportation,” Logan said. “The Army went beyond that. Marcus was always asking what other help he could offer.”
Logan has met his goals and is preparing to graduate from the program. He has his sights set on the future, with a goal to obtain a small apartment in the fall. “I’m so excited. I have a foundation now. And The Salvation Army has a fan for life.”