News from Pathway Homes, Inc.April 2017
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Named to Best Nonprofit List 6th Year in a Row

The results are in!  This year, Pathway Homes ranked 50th on the NonProfit Times Best Nonprofit Organizations to Work For list, and 27th on the medium-sized organizations list.  This 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. 

Employee Achievement
On March 24, 2017, Pathway Homes honored staff and volunteers during the Annual Employee Recognition event held at PJ Skidoos in Fairfax.  "Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, and Shaping the Future" was the theme. The agency has served many people and gone through a great deal of change since it opened its doors in 1980. In addition to honoring our past, this annual event is one way "We Treasure Our Present" and the wonderful staff and volunteers who work hard every day to help those we serve meet their goals. It is also an opportunity for us to rededicate ourselves to the vision of a future where homelessness is a thing of the past and everyone has a permanent stable home.

Board Member Recognized 

Dara Aldridge, Pathway Homes Board Member since 1996, was honored at the April Board of Directors meeting.  She was recognized for her strong commitment to the mission of the agency and the community.  Fellow board members thanked her in particular for all her hard work supporting last October's Help the Homeless Walk.
Dara Aldridge (center) receives her award from President & CEO Sylisa Lambert-Woodard (left) and Board Chair Dan Gray (right)

Pathways Briefs: In Other News 


Employee of the Quarter
Quick Links...
Any executive who manages a nonprofit organization knows that high-performing, highly dedicated employees are worth their weight in gold. Individuals at every level, in every department, across every aspect of nonprofit work say that they find a real sense of purpose in the work they do. Employees in all sectors would like to believe the work they do makes a difference. In our nonprofit world, we see that difference first hand. Take for example one homeless individual who moved into her own apartment last year and has since written and published a book. She credits having a permanent place she can call home for her creativity, "I am more resourceful and creative as result." She goes on to say, "showing hospitality is part of my faith so I'm blessed to finally have guests over for lunch, dinner, tea, or a smoothie." Others who have moved into our permanent supportive housing from homelessness have gone on to obtain educational degrees, become employed, get married, or simply learned how to feel safe again.

At Pathways, we take great pride in regularly recognizing our staff who do the work that makes a difference in the lives of those we serve. From simple 'kudos' for the many ways our team rises to challenges every day, to employee of the quarter awards, we recognize and show support for our staff. And once a year, the entire agency comes together for an afternoon to celebrate the men and women who continue to find their passion at Pathway Homes. At this year's Employee Recognition Luncheon, among the many awards presented, it was my honor to recognize and celebrate one staff member who has been with Pathways for 20 years, and two staff members who have worked with us for 25 years.

Expressions of gratitude and appreciation for employees are important. But I know that's not what keeps them coming back to work each day. In my heart, I know that at the end of the day, when they go home to their families, they have no problem talking about how, in their own way, they made the world just a little bit better for someone in need. That's the reward I'm committed to providing every day.

Maybe that's why our employee feedback has once again ranked Pathway Homes among the Best Nonprofits To Work For in the U.S. for the fifth consecutive year. Over 10,000 individuals are included in this national survey and I feel privileged that we have been on the list each year alongside other nonprofits that value employee recognition, trust, and support. As we look to the coming years, I am motivated and energized by our current strategic plan that was developed with direct staff input and ideas. I feel confident that that our staff voice is reflected in the goals and objectives of the plan and that I have their support as we execute the strategies we created in our shared vision and passion for this work. I am truly honored to work with such talented and committed individuals.

Sylisa's Signature
Sylisa Lambert-Woodard, EdD, LCSW, LSATP, MAC
President and CEO
In His Own Words: Joy
By Kevin Anderson

I had beat all the statistics as a young African-American male - born in the 60s, raised in the 70s with no parents in a disruptive and chaotic household, running the streets beginning at age 5 and emancipated by law at 16.  Even with all that I still managed to go to college and have a promising career and the ideal middle class family. Then at the age of 42, in what seemed to be all in one day, my brain decided to check-out (without me knowing) and go on indefinite leave. Just as I thought I understood my life and how it works, BOOM, a new challenge - my most valuable player (my brain) was out of the game.
Consumer Advisory Council Goes to Richmond and Washington
The Pathway Homes Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) has been a fixture at Pathways for decades.  Consisting of a diverse group of individuals receiving housing and/or services from Pathways, the CAC has proven to be a valuable voice in obtaining and garnering consumer feedback and support over the years.  During that time, the group has taken the lead on projects ranging from a booth at the annual agency cookout to spearheading a voter registration campaign for Pathways' residents.  By all accounts, one of the group's most memorable projects was a trip to Richmond on February 2, 2017 in support of the Virginia Housing Alliance (VHA) Housing Day event.
Steps to Pathways Breakfast - Come Join Us on May 11th

Pathway Homes is hosting its third annual Steps to Pathways Benefit Breakfast.  Join us for an inspiring morning on Thursday, May 11th from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax. See the Vision-Make it Happen is the theme for this year's event. In addition to a full, hot breakfast, the event will feature speakers who will share not only their struggles, but will inspire you with the triumph of overcoming these challenges and the joy of living a meaningful, self-directed life.  This event is an uplifting gathering that matches community philanthropists who wish to make a difference, with those who directly benefit from such generous giving.
A Closer Look At: Sleep-Wake Disorders

By Eleanor Vincent, EdD, LPC, CSAC
These days, one only has to turn on the television to see one drug after the other pushing its therapeutic ability to restore restful sleep.  The images of an individual tossing and turning or another counting sheep to get to sleep are replaced by images of the same individual sleeping blissfully after taking one of these "wonder" drugs.  The reality is that sleep disorders can be caused by a variety of factors and medication is not always the solution.  Also, with the changes in season from winter to spring, it is not uncommon to hear increased complaints from individuals about disrupted sleep patterns. 
Upcoming Dates to Note
  • 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.
  • June 15: Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway Homes' administrative office (10-11 a.m.)
  • June 18: Father's Day
  • June 26-July 21: Summer of the Arts Exhibit on Display, Unitarian Universalist Church, Reston
  • July 4: Independence Day - Pathway Homes' administrative office will be closed.
  • July 8: Summer of the Arts Meet The Artists ReceptionUnitarian Universalist Church, Reston (4-6 p.m.)
  • August 17: Steps to Pathways information session at Pathway Homes' administrative office (10-11 a.m.)