News from Pathway Homes, Inc.January 2017
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Sponsor Spotlight: Signature Renovations

Signature Renovations specializes in design-build, renovations, and general construction services. Clients include federal agencies, private companies, and nonprofits, and our work is integral to dozens of structures on which our community depends throughout the DC Metropolitan Area. In a literal sense, government buildings, military facilities, transit systems, and landmarks in the DC region all bear our signature. 

Sponsor Spotlight: VHDA
Strong partnerships, such as the one forged with Pathway Homes, Inc., in Northern Virginia, are critical to the delivery of quality, affordable, and accessible housing.  As Virginia's housing finance agency, VHDA provides mortgages, primarily for first-time homebuyers and developers of quality rental housing.

Thanking Our Donors 

Pathway Homes greatly appreciates those that make a commitment to serving the mission of Pathway Homes.  With your help, we were able to serve 562 individuals in fiscal year 2016 and that number continues to grow with your on-going support. Pathways consumers continue to inspire us with their resilience, strength and accomplishments. Your decision to invest in their success makes a difference every day!

Thanking Our Volunteers
Pathway Homes benefits greatly from our volunteers.  In 2016, 313 volunteers gave 3,536 hours valued at $83,308. Whether it is supporting our Resident Cook-Out, Holiday Party or Help the Homeless Walk, the energy and passion of the volunteers make every event jam packed with enthusiasm and fun.  In addition, our volunteers contribute many hours of support helping in the home office, teaching English as a second language, serving as a reading buddy or even cutting hair.   On behalf of all the individuals we serve, we say "Thank You."
Annual Holiday Greeting Card Artwork Competition
In what has become a much anticipated annual tradition, Pathway Homes celebrates the considerable talent of in-house artists in our annual Holiday Card Competition. The competition is always fierce, and this year we experienced a significant increase in the number of entries compared to previous years.  This happy holidays home design, submitted by...
Family Group Talks Advocacy

The Family Group came together on a cold November evening to discuss advocacy issues and concerns as they relate to their family members who receive services at Pathways.  Michael (Mike) Carlin of the Virginia Association of Community Based Providers spoke candidly with family members about current issues and the legislative process.

Pathways Briefs: In Other News 

Employee of the Quarter
New Hires
Quick Links...
Winter's here, and it's cold outside.

The recent cold snap is a reminder of the bitter brutality that freezing temperatures can bring. And while the recent frigid weather was a popular conversation topic across the region, most of us only briefly felt its full effect. For many of us, on those days we feel the sting of the wind and the bone-chilling cold, we know that we are only moments away from a place of warmth and safety.

Now imagine for a moment that there was no such warm place waiting for you.

At the end of January, counties and communities across America will conduct the annual point-in-time count of persons experiencing homelessness. It's an annual process that should not need to happen. Last year's count found 400 homeless individuals in Prince William County, and 1059 in Fairfax County. The good news is there has been progress; Fairfax County's homeless numbers have dropped by 32% in the last 5 years, while Prince William County's numbers have dropped 36% since 2011. Yet, there is still work to do.

Pathway Homes is proud to be a leader among the consortium of agencies and organizations working to end homelessness in our community. Our permanent supportive housing programs are often the final lifeline to the most vulnerable of adults living in the woods or under bridges, with only cardboard or plastic to ward off the bitter winter cold. It is permanent housing, coupled with supportive services, that enable adults with serious mental illnesses, often with a co-occurring substance use disorder, to break the cycle of homelessness and despair, and find hope for a better life and a stable home.

Our recent success in moving 55 chronically homeless individuals off the streets and into their own homes was recognized and celebrated with the award of additional funding to transition 35 more unstably housed, frequent users of inpatient and emergency services into permanent supportive housing. Not stopping there, we are now in the midst of moving in another 22 chronically homeless individuals into their very own homes. Once stably housed, we help individuals access the full range of community programs and benefits for which they are eligible and which help them stay housed in the communities of their choice.

I am very proud of the work we do, and the valuable partnerships we have formed to accomplish our mission. But as we face the rest of what winter has in store for us, I know that our work is far from over. With your support, we will keep working to make available more permanent housing with tailored supportive services. We will continue to advocate for more affordable housing, and to provide education about the positive outcomes of permanent supportive housing for the individuals we are privileged to serve. At Pathways we see a future where volunteers find no more tent camps or cardboard shelters, and the annual point-in-time count is finally 'zero.'

Sylisa's Signature
Sylisa Lambert-Woodard, EdD, LCSW, LSATP, MAC
President and CEO
In Her Own Words: A Place of My Own
By Renee Hollingsworth

I have lived in my six-level townhouse in Reston for the past twelve years and share it with three other women.  I suffer from depression, but I manage my symptoms with medication and with support from my psychiatrist.  I came to Pathway Homes from the Transitional Therapeutic Apartment Program (TTAP), a program out of the Northwest Center in Reston.  My counselor at TTAP completed paperwork for me to be a client of Pathway Homes.  I heard that I had been accepted when I was in the hospital suffering from anemia.  After I was released from the hospital, I went to visit the townhouse.  Despite the six-levels, I like my home.  I have the master bedroom.
Advocacy in Action: Getting Ready for the 2017 Legislative Session
Pathways Homes does not lobby.  We do however, advocate!  We advocate for more permanent supportive housing for individuals with mental illnesses and/or co-occurring substance use disorders or other disabilities.  We advocate and educate on issues related to fair housing, stigma, and discrimination. One of the ways we advocate is by letting our state and federal legislators know how government grants help the individuals we serve.  We also advocate by educating legislators about how public housing policies affect those we are committed to helping.
Board Surpasses IT Capital Campaign Goal

Without a strong infusion of dedicated funds for Information Technology (IT) improvements we would not have the capacity to implement needed organizational efficiencies such as an electronic health record, and mobile IT technologies for clinical staff working in the field. We would also be hard pressed to serve more individuals without reducing the number of staff time related to non-clinical activities, such as documentation and billing.  In 2012 the Pathways Board of Directors and executive team strategically launched a bold IT resource acquisition strategy in the agency's first ever IT Capital Campaign.

A Glorious Day to Help the Homeless

Spirits were as high as the sun in the sky when hundreds gathered on Saturday October 22nd for the 17th annual Help the Homeless Walk. This year Pathway Homes sought to bring together residents, families, churches, schools, and businesses to participate in a community-wide, results-driven event.  So, as everyone came together on the grounds of Fairfax City Hall, it was evident that something special was about to happen.
A Closer Look At: Hoarding Disorder

By Eleanor Vincent, EdD, LPC, CSAC
The New Year is here and resolutions have been made, and some already tossed aside. For some, the resolution is to de-clutter, discard, or recycle - something old, something used, or something brand new.  Some do it themselves and others pay for someone else to help with the ritual of sorting, boxing, and letting go.  This sometimes mundane activity is one that is next to impossible for those individuals with hoarding disorder.
Residents Celebrate the Holiday Season
The annual Pathway Homes Resident Holiday Party was held on December 8, 2016 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Burke.  Earlier that afternoon, volunteers transformed the empty fellowship hall into a festive holiday party scene, complete with red, green, and gold balloons; twinkling lights; and floral arrangements fitting the season.  At the same time, the hardworking volunteer chefs worked on whipping up a meal sure to please even the most discerning palate.
Girl Scouts Make Holidays Merrier 

Pathway Homes has been fortunate to partner with Girl Scout Service Unit 54-14 for many years.  This year was no exception with Girl Scout Troop 4156 taking the lead in coordinating the community service project for the 18 troops that comprise Service Unit 54-14.  They collected items and put together over 70 stocking stuffers for Pathways residents.  They collected gift cards, warm socks, puzzle books, lotions, and many other items that are particularly welcome during this time of year.
Upcoming Dates to Note
  • February 16: Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway Homes' administrative office (10-11 a.m.)
  • February 20: President's Day - Pathway Homes' administrative office will be closed. 
  • March 12: Daylight Savings Time begins. 
  • March 29: Family Group - Pathway Homes' administrative office (6-7.30 p.m.)
  • April 20: Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway Homes' administrative office (10-11 a.m.)
  • May 11: Steps to Pathways Benefit Breakfast - Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center, Fairfax (8-9:30 a.m.)
  • May 14: Mother's Day 
  • May 29: Memorial Day - Pathway Homes' administrative office will be closed.