Pathways to Home is a housing stabilization program for families with children experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness. We work collaboratively with nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations, and individuals purposed to eliminate child homelessness in Central Florida. As of early 2017, we have served over 341 families with a total of 887 children. Of those who completed the program, 100% of families had stable housing and 95% were employed. The Pathways to Home model includes the evidence-based practice of Rapid Rehousing intervention designed to help families to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. The program works to help families not only stabilize in the present, but to develop resiliency for long-term self-sufficiency.
Pathways to Home is currently serving more than 60 families in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, including families who were living in cars, on the street, and in emergency shelters, as well as those who have been served eviction notices. By providing these families with support and structured case management, Pathways to Home keeps more families intact and lessens the need for children to enter the foster care system.
How Pathways to Home Works
Pathways to Home utilizes many key social service agencies to provide coordinated services to families in need. Our program model gives power back to families who are willing to make a commitment to work toward their own advancement. Our involvement is respectful and positive, building on each family’s strengths and experiences to nurture them back to self-sufficiency.
Once enrolled in Rapid Re-housing, the Pathways to Home team works with families to identify safe, affordable housing within 30 days. Families continue working with case managers for up to twelve months to address their complex needs. Key program components include: intensive case management, financial literacy training, employment skills, supportive network building, and direct financial assistance with: child care, transportation, rent and/or utilities deposits, rental assistance, bridge housing, and moving costs. Our approach works closely with families to reduce frustration and uncertainty, while simultaneously increasing motivations, knowledge and skills. It is a priority of the program to work with families to ensure minimal disruptions to school and child care placements. The Pathways to Home Program program also includes Prevention Services for families at imminent risk of eviction and Permanent Supportive Housing for children with disabled caregivers.
The families and their case managers meet regularly to ensure that needed resources are identified and made accessible and that any problems are being addressed and resolved. Each aspect of the program and each family-case manager relationship is aided by a web-based data collection, resource allocation and communications network. This integrated management system allows information sharing, avoids duplication or gaps in services, reduces paperwork and ensures rapid service delivery. Equally important, this network is the basis for data collection that will provide qualitative and quantitative information on how well the program is being implemented.