Lessons from Reverend Maxwell: Empowering Solutions in the Fight Against Homelessness

In honor of Black History Month, we want to recognize the remarkable contributions of our co-founder, Reverend Maxwell. As we honor his legacy, we can glean invaluable lessons from his journey in the ongoing battle against homelessness:

 

Prioritize a Dignity-Centered Approach. Reverend Maxwell taught us to recognize and respect every individual's inherent dignity and worth, regardless of circumstance. In our community, more than 2,000 people experience homelessness on any given night. That’s thousands of individuals who need a safe place to call home and the resources and support to help rebuild their lives. By walking alongside our clients, we empower them to take ownership of their journey.

 

Invest in Holistic Support Services. When Reverend Maxwell helped establish Pathlight HOME, he recognized that homelessness is more than a housing issue. That’s why we follow a housing-first approach that provides permanent housing and wraparound services to chronically homeless individuals.

Once our clients are housed, they can access case management services, mental health counseling, a food pantry, and a marketplace with essentials. By addressing the complex and interconnected challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness, we can break the cycle to achieve long-term stability.

 

Foster Community Engagement and Collaboration. Reverend Maxwell had an innate ability to mobilize community support and forge partnerships. Because the issues we face in our community don’t occur in isolation, we must take a collaborative approach to the solution. We can develop sustainable strategies and amplify our impact by leveraging our collective resources, expertise, and networks.

Incorporating these lessons from Reverend Maxwell's legacy can help us cultivate a community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive and lead a life of purpose.

Pathlight HOME Receives 2022 Community Impact Award

PATHLIGHT HOME RECEIVES $200,000 COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD

 

Will Double Workforce Development Outcomes

 

 

Orlando, Florida, 19 April, 2022 – Pathlight HOME, an innovator in supportive housing and vocational training, today received a three-year, $200,000 Community Impact Grant from AdventHealth.

 

The highly-competitive awards program for Central Florida drew hundreds of applications from non-profit organizations in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties. 

 

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Pathlight HOME pioneered the transformation of former motel properties into fresh, secure, and affordable efficiency units of supportive housing for Orlando’s homeless population.  The commercial kitchen of one of Pathlight’s “born-again” motel properties is now a training center offering hands-on instruction in basic culinary arts.  More than 100 graduates have earned certifications in food preparation and transitioned to entry-level jobs.  They include formerly homeless people, women escaping domestic abuse, young people transitioning out of foster care, and people living with mental illness or physical disabilities.

 

Training is offered free of charge.  The AdventHealth award will enable Pathlight to expand the program and double its annual outcomes.

 

AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division encompasses 18 hospitals and ERs in the six counties in and surrounding metro Orlando.  The world-class hospitals, combined with a comprehensive outpatient care network, have logged more than 3.4 million inpatient encounters and more than 5.7 million outpatient visits annually.

Catalyst Kitchen Gifts Students with Financial Assistance

Now in its sixth year of hands-on cooking classes, classroom instruction, and individual coaching, Pathlight Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program has provided more than 100 graduates with marketable skills in the foodservice industry. The free, 12-week course for low-income adults has been held four times a year, with Executive Chef EstebanTorres teaching everything from food preparation, marinades, and knife skills to safety, sanitation and restaurant dynamics. Chef Assistant Shannelle Johnson provides life skills classes and administrative support; and both of them help students parlay their knowledge and Food Handler Certification into jobs.

Chef esteban

The first 2020 session started in March. Then, COVID-19 precautions struck Central Florida and beyond, closing schools (including the culinary class) and creating a new, stay-at-home society. With no students to encourage and instruct in the kitchen, yet with Pathlight HOME’s program residents in need of food and bulk nonperishable food donations on hand, an idea was born! The rest is history, as they say, and our two culinary gurus are now preparing food for 115 very appreciative residents of the Restore Program at Maxwell Terrace and the Homes for New Beginnings Program residents at Maxwell Garden, on alternate Wednesdays. Our Lead Case Managers deliver the delicacies, within social distancing guidelines, of course!

And there’s more good news, courtesy of Catalyst Kitchens, a national network of over 60 organizations involved in foodservice job training social enterprises to which Pathlight Kitchen belongs. Like a blessing from above, they contacted us to gift a number of our students and alumni with an immediate $500 each from the #GiveTogetherNow Campaign , to offset financial burdens related to the pandemic. Thanks to Shannelle’s quick phone work to contact those who would benefit the most, share their tears of joy and disbelief, and guide them through the online criteria, the money hit bank accounts immediately. It is already helping and we are grateful. On our students’ behalf, thank you Catalyst Kitchens!

Second Place Winner of Best Places to Work Multifamily for Women

We are thrilled to announce that we have been named second in the nation in their top 25 National Best Places to Work Multifamily® for Women!

We at Pathlight HOME have some exciting news to share amid this challenging time in Central Florida and the entire country. Via live broadcast from Scottsdale, Arizona, the Multifamily Leadership organization bestowed an honor on our nonprofit team. We are thrilled to announce that we have been named second in the nation in their top 25 National Best Places to Work Multifamily® for Women!

 

With most of our Pathlight HOME staff working and watching the Multifamily Leadership’s recent live, online presentation from our homes, and a skeleton crew of essential employees watching from the office (and employing social distancing), we each held our breath as the finalists’ names were read and video tributes and messages from the CEOs were aired. Complete with formal dress, music, a podium and stanchions, the online excitement created by Multifamily Leadership colleagues as they announced the rankings, from 25th up to first place, was almost as palpable as being there. We’ve since learned that over 500 multifamily industry executives and their teams, representing 44 states, joined the digital event to hear the results and celebrate the accomplishments of all 25 ranking companies.

 

The Multifamily Industry, serving apartments and their residents, contributes more than $3.4 trillion to the US economy annually, supporting more than 17.5 million jobs. To earn a place on their prestigious list of 25 best places for women to work, we had to have previously ranked on the Official National Best Places to Work Multifamily® list, a cadre of 58 companies in the multifamily field that was revealed at a conference in November 2019. The rigorous assessment process for that award evaluated each company’s employee policies and procedures as well as responses from their employees. We also had to have created a culture in which the women who were surveyed provided positive responses about where they worked.

 

And we’re proud to have succeeded in both of these criteria, with Pathlight HOME having ranked 18th on the original list of 58 finalists nationwide, the only nonprofit organization among them. And with 77% of the Pathlight HOME team of 30 being female, including our President Emeritus/CEO and President, our organization’s culture is most definitely supportive of women.

 

Though we couldn’t see one other during the virtual event, our staff could feel each other’s vibes of excitement throughout Central Florida when Pathlight HOME was announced! (That’s team spirit!) The video of photos that Multifamily Leadership created to showcase our staff and the virtual remarks of appreciation to by our president, Babette Allen, did our troop proud and we are very grateful.

 

To have the caring work that the women – and men – of Pathlight HOME do each day to help change the lives of our formerly homeless residents recognized as #2 of 25 in the National Best Places to Work Multifamily® for Women is beyond thrilling! And to know so many in our community continue to support our mission makes it that much better!

Pathlight HOME Awarded $10K TD Charitable Foundation Grant for Homeless Housing Program

Orlando Homelessness Nonprofit Receives Support for Permanent Supportive Housing Program

ORLANDO, Fla. - (May 15, 2018) – Pathlight HOME, Central Florida’s first and largest provider of the “Housing First” approach to helping homeless men and women rejoin the community, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank. The grant will help support the nonprofit’s Restore Permanent Supportive Housing Program for chronically homeless individuals.

 

“We are honored that TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation, recognizes the significant role that Pathlight HOME’s  permanent supportive housing plays in Central Florida,” said Pathlight HOME President Helaine Blum. “Their generous support of our work will help us continue to change the lives of more-than-600 homeless and low-income neighbors each day through affordable housing and economic opportunities.”

 

The Restore Program provides 60 housing units and services for chronically homeless adults in Central Florida to assist them in gaining / maintaining housing stability and income, and increasing their mental and physical stability and self-sufficiency. In collaboration with Orange County Government and the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, Restore provides affordable housing, case management, transportation, life skills coaching, social services and medical referrals, recreational activities, and more. In the most recent year, 97 percent of clients maintained housing stability or moved to another permanent housing option, instilling a palpable sense pride in all concerned.

 

About Pathlight HOME

Pathlight HOME changes the lives of homeless and low-income men and women through affordable housing and economic opportunities. We are Central Florida’s first and largest provider of permanent supportive housing. In our 25 years, we have helped more than 5,000 homeless neighbors through the “housing first” philosophy. Today, more than 600 residents receive safe, dignified housing and supportive services.

 

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed more than $193.8 million and more than 19,000 grants in charitable donations from Maine to Florida. The Foundation's mission aligns with The Ready Commitment, a new multi-year program that TD launched in March 2018 to help individuals and communities prosper. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health.

 

For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment

More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including the online grant application, is available at TDBank.com