Our Approach


Homelessness has been challenging communities across the United States for a long time. Many people believe they know why someone becomes homeless. Do you know the true causes?

  • Lack of Affordable Housing
  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Disputes
  • Emancipation from Foster Care
  • Mental Illness
  • Substance Abuse

Every day our team at Pathlight HOME provides a safe place to live and supportive services to more than 600 formerly homeless individuals in the Central Florida area.  

Portrait of Resident

Committed to Housing First

Our commitment to the Housing First Model anchors our approach to homelessness. As the first and largest provider of this model in our region, we know it has allowed us to help and safely house more individuals when compared with other approaches.  

What is Housing First?

The Housing First model operates on the belief that providing a home is the best way to end homelessness. This approach differs from the popular Housing Readiness model, also known as the Treatment First model. If someone suffers from mental illness, addiction or joblessness, the Treatment First model will attempt to address these roadblocks first, before helping the individual find a permanent home. 

housing first vs housing readiness infographic

FACT: For Every 100 Extremely Low-Income Renters, Central Florida Only Has 13 Available and Affordable Units.

After our residents move in and become settled, we offer them support and case management services. 

Case Management Transforms Lives 

A safe place to live can provide the stability a person needs to address other obstacles in their life. Our case managers help residents deal with challenges such as: 

  • Mental Illness 
  • Addiction 
  • Joblessness 
  • Financial Planning 
  • Goal Setting 
  • Life Skills for Managing their New Home 

30+ Years of Housing First in Central Florida

By following the Housing First model, we have been able to successfully house more than 7,000 individuals since being founded in 1992. Want results like ours? Learn how your organization can follow our path.

Pathlight HOME vs. A Homeless Shelter

Pathlight HOME follows the Housing First model — providing a place to stay without preconditions or judgement. Unlike a homeless shelter, our residents do not have to check in or out, and their new address becomes their home. At Pathlight HOME, we build long-term relationships with our residents and provide support to help them rebuild their lives.

Pathlight HOME Provides Permanent Supportive Housing

We believe that offering a home for a homeless individual provides the best solution for helping them regain stability. This begins to alleviate the problem of homelessness in Central Florida and other communities.


A safe place to live provides stability and structure for a person who had been homeless. It allows them to address the other obstacles that may have contributed to their homelessness, such as job loss, mental illness, or addiction. Permanent supportive housing offers residents access to a case manager for long-term assistance with everything from job searches to household management.


We help our residents cultivate the life skills needed to manage their new home and we help them to get on the right path for a better future.

Tinker was homeless in Orlando and found permanent supportive housing at Pathlight HOME

Looking for a Homeless Shelter in Orlando?

If you’re unable to obtain permanent supportive housing at this time, temporary homeless shelters may be the answer. If you need help with resources and assessments in Central Florida, these links below may help:

Other Homelessness & Housing Resources in Central Florida

United Way 2-1-1

If you currently experience homelessness, call 2-1-1 for access to a 24-hour resource hotline.

Homeless Assessment Hubs

Homeless individuals and families can come for a face-to-face assessment at one of four hubs. Hubs provide assessments on a first come, first serve basis. Unfortunately, housing cannot be guaranteed. All family members do not need to be present, only the head of your household.

Documents that should be brought, if available, include:

  • Valid Identification
  • Social Security Card  (for adults in your family)
  • Birth Certificates  (for any children in your family)

If you are a U.S. citizen in Central Florida and do not have your identification documents, please visit idignity.org to learn more about how you can obtain free assistance at one of their upcoming events.

HUB Locations:

For a list of Community HUB sites please visit the Homeless Service Network of Central Florida website here