“Joy” Overcomes Troubles for Center of Hope Client


Essence Cross

By:  Cyrondys Jackson

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (April 13, 2022)-At 23-years-old, Essence Cross, never imagined she would call The Center of Hope in Birmingham, Alabama, home. The Hueytown native took pride in working hard to pursue her dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. But, after numerous run-ins and arguments with her mother, she left home in search of the peace and comfort that she said had been missing since the passing of her grandmother, the woman she called the “root of the family.”  

“I was scared, because I had never experienced homelessness, and I was on the streets trying to keep a roof over my head,” said Essence. After about a week, Essence came to The Salvation Army Greater Birmingham Area Command for assistance. “At first, I didn’t like it, but I am here for a reason,” she said.  

Essence has used the almost two months at The Center of Hope to seek employment opportunities and research colleges to further her education. In addition to wanting to start her own business, Essence developed a love for Psychology. “I really could see myself helping other people who have had experiences like mine.” 

Recently, Essence participated in a hiring fair for a local company and was offered a full-time position on site. “I did the interview, and it was more like getting to know you, and I started explaining the kind of employee I am, and how I engage as a professional, with customers, management, and my coworkers.” 

Essence’s new job will begin in less than a week, with new-hire orientation. She says the depression she was experiencing when her ordeal began in late February, has started to subside, now that she has a new job, and a clear plan that will soon lead to her getting a place of her own. 

“I do see myself getting out and accomplishing the things that will make me proud of myself. I know I have a bright future ahead of me, and I consider it joy, and I am grateful to The Salvation Army for being here when I needed it, “said Essence.  


Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2-3