Our Experience


Serving the Homeless in Orlando Since 1992 

Pathlight HOME, a registered service mark of Grand Ave Economic Community Development Corp., leads the way in affordable housing solutions for homeless men and women in Central Florida.   

Our Origin

Reverend Fred Maxwell

 

Pathlight HOME grew from the teamwork of Reverend Fred Maxwell — a pastor, civil rights leader, and advocate for the homeless community — and Helaine Blum, an attorney and lifelong Central Floridian. Maxwell and Blum instinctively believed in Housing First, long before it became adopted by communities around North America. 

 

Together, they established Grand Ave. Economic Community Development Corp., and secured a federal grant to purchase and renovate a 75-unit motel building near Colonial Drive and John Young Parkway. This began the state of Florida’s original “Housing First” project. After the redevelopment of this property — now known as Maxwell Terrace — they purchased and renovated another motel building on Orange Blossom Trail, now known as Maxwell Garden. 

Photograph of Helaine Blum, President & CEO of Pathlight HOME

Accomplishments 

Keys to Success

Since 1992 Pathlight HOME has helped more than 6,000 people find safe and stable housing. Currently we house over 600 low-income and homeless Central Floridians. 

Orlando has an abundance of abandoned motel properties and a shortage of affordable housing, especially for very low-income residents. We believe that both buildings and people deserve a second chance. Renovating properties instead of building new efficiency apartments from the ground up has allowed us to save on construction costs and reduce the time needed to get new people into housing. 

Our extensive work with formerly homeless individuals means that we have the right experience in facility operations, resident management, and property oversight to serve as our own property management company. 

 

This sets us apart from other tax credit and supportive housing properties who typically use an independent property management agent. 

We have a responsible track record and continue to spend public funds wisely over the years. Our cost to provide decent, permanent housing and supportive services to a chronically homeless individual averages $13,500 annually.  

Our case managers invest whole-heartedly in the well-being and long-term success of our residents. They do their best to make sure our residents can stay in the housing they have — or even find an independent living arrangement when they feel ready. 
 
Case managers work on-site so residents can easily access their office. Case managers run regularly scheduled social activities as well, including a “Get Healthy” program and group outings to local parks.

As individuals, businesses and organizations learn that we have been able to keep more than 600 formerly homeless individuals off the streets each night, they want to help us. From donors to volunteers to social media followers, public support and involvement continues to be crucial and welcome.

Pathlight HOME strives to provide complete services to chronically homeless individuals from case management to job training and economic opportunities. Our main goal continues to be helping our residents maintain a sense of safety, community and hope. 

The Future 

Having served more than 6,000 individuals in the past 25+ years only fuels our dreams for the future. While still continuing to improve the lives of our current residents and other chronically homeless men and women in Central Florida, we foresee achieving other goals to change even more lives.

Goals:

  • Acquire More Properties 
  • Provide Kitchenettes for Residents 
  • Provide Housing for Families 
  • Create a Community Center 
  • Expand Culinary Program Locations 
  • Expand Property Management Services
Resident Community Event

Help Us Reach Our Vision