PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) is a group of agencies working together to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities. PATH has now opened in downtown San Diego. Their facility houses 138 homeless people.
A few weeks ago two CCSA board members participated in the Job and Resource Fair at PATH to let the PATH residents know about CCSA services. (One board member commented that the gift received from hearing some amazing stories was more than could ever have been given them.) Each resident has a pre-determined time to stay at this facility and is provided with several different services to get them ready to actively engage in a job and return to self-sufficiency.
The job fair was held two floors above, and after the residents were interviewed at the job fair by eight major San Diego corporations, the residents came downstairs to visit the more than twenty community resource agencies to determine what each agency had to offer to assist in their return to self-sufficiency. The joy on the face of each resident and the positive manner in which they engaged with those present brought warmth and a moving-forward smile from all. Each agency also visited those with support services to learn more about each other and try to connect better within the community. The whole experience told us that PATH is on the right track for the people in this facility.
A lady named Amelia who organized the job fair had been homeless for a long time. She is now devoted to PATH and working with them to help her homeless brothers and sisters. A couple who were homeless for many years have made it their mission to walk the streets of San Diego, talking to the homeless to give the encouraging message that they CAN change their lives. The male partner of this couple has just been diagnosed with cancer, but that hasn’t stopped them. They still go every day to listen, encourage, and care for those among whom they once lived.
The work of PATH is making a difference. Recently the news was received that 19 of the PATH residents that interviewed got hired that day!!
To learn more about this wonderful agency that provides that extra service needed for the homeless population, go to the PATH web site at http://www.epath.org.