News from Pathway Homes, Inc.April 2015
In This Issue
Pathway Homes Honors Staff and Volunteers

On March 20, 2015, Pathway Homes honored staff and volunteers during the Annual Employee Recognition event held at PJ Skidoos in Fairfax.  "Puzzle Pieces" was the theme for this year's event.    

Lexi Garber, seen here with Board Vice Chair Jennifer McKenzie and President and CEO Sylisa Lambert-Woodard, receives the Employee Achievement Award for Support and Team Building


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Pathway Homes Again Named a Best Place to Work 
Pathway Homes ranked 6th among medium sized organizations and 22nd overall on the 2015 Best Non Profit Organizations to Work For list! The award program is sponsored by The Nonprofit Times and Best Companies Group (BCG), which utilizes a nationwide survey to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in the nonprofit industry in the United States.

Advocating in Richmond  


The first quarter of the year was a busy time for the Virginia General Assembly as the legislative season came and went in a flurry of hearings and events. Pathways took advantage of a couple of key events to promote the agency's strategic advocacy agenda directly to legislators. 


Board Vice Chair Jennifer McKenzie and COO Eleanor Vincent in the gallery at the Statehouse in Richmond.


Fond Farewell

Cherry Blossoms   
Pathway Homes remembers Patrick Cholko, who passed away during this past quarter.


A Fresh New Style
For the second year in a row, Pathway Homes participated in the Hair Cuttery's
Share a Haircut program. This program provides free haircuts to individuals and families with a history of homelessness. At the Hair Cuttery they believe a fresh new haircut can help individuals shine from within with a fresh new style, and feel more confident!

Nagham Merhej gets a beautiful makeover thanks to our friends at Hair Cuttery!
Volunteers Making a Difference

Despite the chilly and sometimes bleak weather conditions this winter, volunteers have continued to make a difference. On Saturday February 28, 2015, nine youth from the King of Kings Lutheran Church prepared table centerpieces for Pathways' first Steps to Pathways Benefit Breakfast. The next day, Sunday March 1, 2015, four volunteers from AmericCorps came out to help Pathway Homes.

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Growth is a common goal in both the business sector and among nonprofits.  However the motivations are quite different.  While a successful business is measured by acquisition, nonprofits that are successful seek creation of a greater good or elimination of a societal problem.


Growth is an absolute necessity if we are to achieve our vision that all individuals with mental illness and co-occurring disabilities are able to lead meaningful, self-directed lives in homes of their choice with the supports and services they need.  By the very nature of our non-time-limited housing programs, the only way we can eliminate the need is to expand our capacity to serve more people.


Pathway Homes is in the midst of several strategic growth initiatives.  We've proven that we have the model that works.  We've invested in resources and technologies that ensure our programs are of the highest quality and executed efficiently.  Now we embark on a multi-faceted expansion effort to serve more individuals in need.


We have received a $1 million program grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  With this funding, Pathways will work in partnership with Christian Relief Services (CRS) to bring 55 new consumers into our supported living programs.  CRS will acquire scattered-site housing locations, and Pathways will provide the supportive services for these newly-housed individuals.  This grant is new Continuum of Care program funding, and was made possible through our involvement in the Fairfax-Falls Church Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness.


This month, we opened our second fully-supported Assisted Living facility.  Working in partnership with state and local agencies, Pathways debuts the first such housing facility in Prince William County. 


Growth occurs in other areas as well.  As part of our Acquisitions and Development initiative, we constantly work to identify additional sources of support.  Like a snowball rolling down the mountain side, we can exponentially increase our impact in the community by increasing the number of partnerships and bringing new supporters to the table.  Numerous program grant funding applications are being researched, written, and submitted.   


Lastly, we grow through replication.  Pathway's proven model of permanent supportive housing is being re-created in Central Florida to meet the needs of chronically homeless individuals in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.  The fact that our success led community leaders to call on us for help is a testament not only to the effectiveness of our partnerships, but also to the hard work of so many dedicated staff, past and present.


It's an exciting time to lead this organization.  Our vision may well be just over the horizon.

Sylisa's Signature 
Sylisa Lambert-Woodard, EdD, LCSW, LSATP, MAC
President and CEO
In His Own Words: Family Ties 


The In His/Her Own Words segment usually features an individual's personal journey of recovery in their own words. This quarter, to acknowledge the critical role family members can play in this journey; we share, with the individual's permission, this letter received from a family member: 



I am the father of a 34-year old disabled adult currently receiving services from the Fairfax County Mental Health Service. I want to share the enormous impact my son's case manager has had on his well-being. Additionally, I want to share how that support benefits the family. The symptoms of brain injury and mental illness do not only affect the consumer, but impacts all who care about their welfare.



Join Us for Our First Steps to Pathways Benefit Breakfast


The chronically homeless individuals of Northern Virginia and those with serious mental illnesses need your support, and you can help! All you have to do is have breakfast with us.


Pathway Homes is hosting our inaugural Steps to Pathways Benefit Breakfast.   Join us for an inspiring morning on Wednesday, May 13th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive in Fairfax.


A Closer Look at Sleep-Wake Disorders 


By: Eleanor Vincent, EdD, CSAC


Sleep disorders are organized into ten disorders or groups of disorders that include: insomnia, hypersomnolence, narcolepsy, breathing-related sleep disorders, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, non-rapid eye movement sleep arousal disorders, restless leg syndrome, nightmare, and substance/medication-induced sleep disorder. We focus on three of the most common ones in this article.



Preparations are underway and anticipation is already growing for this year's Summer of the Arts Exhibition. In just two years, the show that highlights and celebrates the artistic talents of Pathway Homes' residents and consumers has become a showcase annual event. 

Once again, we are thrilled to announce that the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton has been chosen as the location to best display the talents of the individuals we serve. The Summer of the Arts Exhibition will debut on July 8th, and will be open for viewing daily through July 12th.   




Green Pathways

Spring Into Spring: 5 Tips to  Celebrate National Garden Month 


April is national gardening month, and there's no better way to slough off the grays of winter than with a celebration of spring and all things green and growing. As the weather warms up and the days get longer, give yourself a reason to be outside and get your hands dirty - play in the garden! Not only is gardening a way to showcase your colorful side with cheerful blossoms, it can also be practical and provide fresh fruits and vegetables to liven up your meals.

  Family Group  

  Talks Advocacy  


Pathways Family Group came together this quarter on March 18
th to talk about "real advocacy." The session,What About Real Advocacy: Activism versus Passivism, was expertly led by our very own Reverend Jennifer McKenzie, Vice Chair of the Pathways Board of Directors.   Jennifer kicked off the discussion by asking family members to share examples of stigma they have experienced by virtue of having a family member with a mental illness. The discussion that followed was eye-opening and reflected a lot of common experiences among family members over the years. 



Pathways Briefs: In Other News  

Upcoming Dates to Note

  • April 16:  Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway's administrative office (10-11 a.m.)
  • May 10:   Mother's Day
  • May 13:   Steps to Pathways Benefit Breakfast - Old Town Hall, Fairfax (8-9:30am)
  • MAY 22:   Artwork submissions due for Summer of the Arts Exhibit.
  • May 25:   Memorial Day - Pathway homes administrative office will be closed
  • May 30:   Pathways Annual Cookout. *Invitations will go out mid-April.
  • June 18:  Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway's administrative office (10-11 a.m.)
  • June 21:  Father's Day
  • July 8-12: Summer of the Arts Exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton
  • July 11:   Summer of the Arts Artist's Reception - Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton (6-8 p.m.)