News from Pathway Homes, Inc.October 2015
In This Issue
Four in a Row?
For three days in September, Pathway Homes hosted two surveyors from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).  This marks the fourth time that Pathways has completed this survey process and looks to be on track to receive its fourth consecutive three-year accreditation!  
Left to right: Pathways Board Chair Daniel Gray, CARF surveyors Jeff Bergbauer and Karen Rever, and Pathways President and CEO Sylisa Lambert-Woodard.


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New Members Join Pathways' Board of Directors
We are excited to welcome two new members to the Board of Directors of Pathway Homes.  Meet Jennifer McGarey and Douglas Robinson. 

Advocacy in Motion 

Pathway Homes continued its call to action through a variety of advocacy efforts and activities aimed at promoting anti-stigma education and drumming up legislative support for individuals with mental illnesses and other disabilities.   While the Advocacy Committee was on hiatus over the summer months, the work of the committee continued through Pathways staff members. 

Peer Recovery Front and Center
On September 30th, Lolita Ann Coleman, a Pathway Homes' consumer,  spoke at a conference hosted by The Behavioral Healthcare Division of Arlington County and Arlington Peers Helping Peers in Recovery.  The conference was held in celebration of National Recovery Month.

Volunteer Spotlight: Serve DC 2015
Serve DC is a mission trip offered by Youth Unlimited, a non-denominational, non-profit ministry organization that coordinates and provides week-long mission trips throughout North America for middle school and high school age youth.  This past July, Serve DC volunteered for Pathway Homes.
Family Group Update
The Pathway Homes Family Group is coming out of a summer break with a new focus on tapping into family members' talents and expertise.  With a goal to re-energize the family base, the next meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday Oct. 21, from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Quick Links...
This past year has been a year of collaboration and opportunity. Pathway Homes continues to invest in the individuals we serve through our commitment to our mission to "embody the spirit of recovery: embracing an attitude of hope, self-determination and partnering with each individual on their personal journey toward achieving self-fulfillment and realizing their dreams." We meet this commitment and fulfill our mission by "making available to individuals with mental illnesses and co-occurring disabilities a variety of non-time-limited housing and services to enable them to realize their individual potential."

What a remarkable year we had in FY 2015! Pathway Homes' investment in a period of growth and renewal of agency programs has resulted in a significant increase of services and open doors to those on our waitlist of over 500. We remain committed to best practice service delivery while keeping staff morale high. As a result, for the fourth year in a row, Pathway Homes was named one of the "Best NonProfits to Work For" by The NonProfit Times. We ranked 6th in the nation among medium-sized nonprofits, employing 50-249 employees, and 22nd out of 50 nonprofits of all sizes. The award of unprecedented grants, expansion of service delivery into Prince William County, and emerging growth into Central Florida are but a few of the results from our commitment to partner with the greater community.

As a partner of excellence, we thank you for your continued advocacy and support of our agency. Our ability to fully realize our vision and mission can only be achieved through new and continued public and private partnerships and alliances as we look towards the future. Your continued support is evidenced by the most significant increase in public and private partnerships to date. Pathway Homes remains committed through our communication strategies to inform our stakeholders of the significant return on investment our agency provides to the community. Our services significantly reduce the overreliance on public services, increase self-sufficiency, and have consistently kept an average 98% of individuals stably housed over many years.

At the core of our growth and development remain the focus on the individuals we serve, and the quality services we provide. Hence the most important voices at Pathway Homes are the voices of the individuals we have the privilege and pleasure of serving. This voice of human resilience and hope determines our direction and focus. This influence remains the cornerstone of our organization, and defines future pathways for success. This past year was notable as we were invited to share our model of housing-first recovery-based programming at the local, state, and international arenas providing education and advocacy for mental health recovery.

This past year was also transformational. With over 200 applications for the HUD national bonus project, Pathway Homes was one of only 25 agencies awarded a 1.2 million dollar HUD grant to end homelessness amongst the most vulnerable in our population. This historic input of money into our local Continuum of Care will fund one of the most significant and aggressive efforts to end homelessness in the Fairfax, VA community and will result in a 27% decrease in the number of chronically homeless adults in Fairfax County.

We are mindful of the privilege to serve this community. We invite you to journey forward with us to eradicate homelessness, create innovative approaches to improve the quality and choice of behavioral healthcare, and advocate for best practice service provision with the most effective and efficient designs.

On behalf of the individuals we serve, staff, and the Board of Directors, I humbly thank you for your investment in our journey forward. With your continued support not only can we change lives, we can improve the quality of those lives throughout our community!

Sylisa's Signature
Sylisa Lambert-Woodard, EdD, LCSW, LSATP, MAC
President and CEO
In Her Own Words: My Mental Health Regimen 
By Anne Ladford

Anne Ladford addresses the October Steps to Pathways information session.
I have been with Pathway Homes for ten years, seven of them living in a shared townhome and the last three years in a one-bedroom condo in Fairfax.  You will rarely find me at home though. I keep true to my mental health regimen which I developed with my Pathways case manager.   I have activities that I scheduled on my calendar at least four days a week with a day off in-between for some "me" time.   On Mondays I exercise, on Tuesdays I volunteer at the library in the morning and attend a mindfulness class in the afternoon, on Wednesdays I attend bible study, every other Thursday I visit patients in hospice care, and on Fridays I volunteer as an administrative assistant at Heartland Hospice.   When not engaged in a daily activity, I like to read and study.  I am an avid reader who enjoys spiritual reading.
The Stage is Set for Help the Homeless Walk 2015
Pathways'16th annual Help the Homeless Walk takes place Saturday, October 24th at Stevenson Place in Fairfax.  Since 1999, Pathway Homes has encouraged people of all ages to come together for one day in the fall, to make a lasting impact in the lives of others.  Participating in a walk is a fun and easy way to give back to the community.

Homeward Bound is the theme of this year's walk.  It signifies the desire we all feel to have a safe, secure place to call our own.  By joining in the walk, you will help provide a safe, secure home AND access to life-saving supportive services.
A Closer Look at Culture and Mental Health

By: Eliina Belenkiy, BA, QMHP
In the mental health field there is an increased amount of focus placed on the connection between culture and mental health. There is also a call for counselors in the mental health field to be 'culturally competent'. Not only is it important for clinicians to be aware of the cultural background and beliefs of the individuals they serve, it is also important for clinicians to be aware of their own cultural world views and how that might influence their work with individuals seeking help.
Annual Holiday Card Art Competition Underway
After viewing the wonderful talent displayed at the Pathways Summer of the Arts Exhibition, we continued the journey to tap into, and display the considerable talent of in-house artists at Pathways in our annual Holiday Card Competition.  

This is the 5th year that we will feature a consumer's artwork on the cover of the agency's card.  In addition to having their artwork appear on this year's card, the winning artist will receive a $50 cash prize. The first runner up will receive $35, and the second runner up will receive $25.
Green Pathways
Small Changes for a Greener Lifestyle
As the leaves put on their annual show, and cooler weather and shorter days slowly creep up on us, there is no doubt that the seasons are changing.  Take a cue from nature and start your transition to a greener way of life.

Pathways Briefs: In Other News 

Upcoming Dates to Note

Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway's administrative office (10-11 a.m.)
October 16:  Pathways to Wellness Conference, Northern Virginia Community Cultural Center (8:30 am to 2:30 p.m.)
October 21:  Family Group: Connecting with Pathways, at Pathway's administrative office (6-8 p.m.)
October 24:  Help the Homeless Walk 2015, Stevenson Place, Fairfax (9 a.m.-12 noon) 
November 1:  Daylight Saving Time ends
November 26-27:  Pathways' administrative offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday
December 3:  Resident Holiday Party, Church of the Good Shepard, Burke VA (6-9 p.m.)
December 6:  Hanukkah begins at sundown
December 17: Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway's administrative office (10-11 a.m.)
December 25:  Pathways' administrative offices will be closed for Christmas
January 1:  Pathways' administrative offices will be closed for New Year's Day