MUSCATINE, Iowa–Kristal Yotter never expected to work for the Salvation Army of Muscatine County. After a successful career overseeing Domestic Violence Intervention Program’s transitional housing in Burlington, Yotter knew she wanted to try something different. Though she found running her own housekeeping business quite financially successful, she felt she could do more to help the community. She applied for the Salvation Army of Burlington’s veteran housing program. While on the Salvation Army’s website, she saw the Salvation Army of Muscatine County needed a new Pathway of Hope coordinator, and since it took only one click of her mouse to apply, she did. Yotter ended up interviewing and starting as the Pathway of Hope coordinator in Muscatine late in the fall of 2021. Yotter embraces the chance to make connections in a new community and to use her experiences to help others find success.
Pathway of Hope helps connect people with community resources that allow them to meet their needs and work towards having sustainable, independent lives. By working one on one with individuals or families in need of assistance, Yotter uses all the resources available to Pathway of Hope to get people the assistance they require. “The program is fluid and can be tailored to their needs,” she explained.
An active case manager, Yotter provides people with as much guidance as they want as they work with area organizations to get housing, utilities, and more; offers mentoring in any areas they could use it; and celebrates their successes with them. “I want it to be a true collaboration between us and the other agencies they work with,” she stressed. As a church, Yotter pointed out the Salvation Army can offer spiritual services to people as well as just tending their physical needs. She welcomes having one more way to assist people, if they feel open to it.
As Yotter begins her time with the Salvation Army, she has dedicated herself to learning more about the organization. She has found everyone there has gladly helped her get acquainted. “They’re a very small staff, but they’re all lovely and supportive,” she said.
Yotter has also started working on growing the Salvation Army’s supply closet, which can provide household cleaning products, personal care items, and baby supplies to anyone in need. “I’d like that closet to be fully stocked so I can offer things on a monthly basis,” she elaborated.
Though Yotter has only just started familiarizing herself with the Muscatine Community, she has already found that local organizations have positive working relationships. “It seems to me that the programs work together well here, and that’s good for clients,” she stated. Yotter looks forward to building connections with the area’s many organizations to benefit anyone who comes to Pathway of Hope.
Yotter also enjoys getting to know Muscatine personally, as she has visited before in the past. “Coming to Muscatine is exciting to me because it’s like going to a new city without being too far from home,” she shared.