Celebrating Two Years of Impact Through Pathways Drop-In Center

Pathlight HOME offers an abundance of resources for the unhoused. Our core programs and services empower individuals to achieve housing and economic stability. 

 

In July 2021, driven by a shared dedication to serve the unhoused and guide them toward housing solutions, we acquired Pathways Drop In Center.

 

The drop-in center is the only facility in Orange County that specifically addresses the needs of, and provides vital services free of charge to those with serious mental illnesses who are unhoused or at risk of losing their homes. Through Pathways, we provide access to meals, showers, laundry, peer support groups and employment services.

 

For Pathways member Deborah, the drop-in center not only provides access to basic essentials, but it is a place where she has found solace and community. 

 

“There’s always someone to talk to,” shares Deborah. “Whether it’s group therapy or outings with other members, you’re never alone.”

 

Looking ahead, we have exciting plans to renovate and expand Pathways Drop-In Center. This expansion will enable the center to better meet the growing needs of Central Florida, while continuing to provide critical services to unhoused individuals living with mental illnesses.

 

To learn more about  volunteer opportunities at Pathways, click here

 

Inside Pathlight Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program

September 20, 2018 was an exciting day at Pathlight Kitchen, one dedicated to celebrating the graduation of our wonderful Culinary Training Program students!

Over the past 12 weeks, these students have worked hard in the classroom and our commercial kitchen to complete a comprehensive culinary skills course. Their studies, supported by the online information and videos of “Rouxbe,” a world leading online culinary program, and the intense hands-on training by our Pathlight Kitchen Chefs, culminated in the day’s graduation ceremony.

 

Executive Chef Esteban and Chef Instructor Holly proudly awarded the students diplomas, chef coats, and their hard earned ServSafe Manager Certifications for completing the course. The students, along with their families and friends, took pictures and shared fond memories of the past 12 weeks. A delicious lunch followed, and everyone left with a sense of optimism and accomplishment heading into the future.

 

As Chef Esteban and Holly prepared for the next cycle of Culinary Training classes, which started October 1, we asked them to reflect on the past graduating classes and their experience as the instructors. A typical day in the Culinary Training Program begins with welcoming the students and reviewing the lesson plan for the day.

 

The students then complete a lesson(s) on Rouxbe, which teaches them about food preparation, safety, kitchen procedures, and much more. (It’s also a wonderful resource as students can access the program online and learn outside of the classroom.) They proceed to the commercial kitchen to practice firsthand what they have Culinary Training Program students learning to cook in the Pathlight Kitchen free 12-week trainingjust seen online, under the watchful and experienced eyes and hands of their instructors.

 

The students work with one another and the instructors, following directions to create a delicious dish. Once it is complete, they clean up and then taste their creation, while discussing what went well and what areas they can improve upon for the next class.

 

When asked to describe the purpose of the program, Chef Holly replied, “We have a great facility here [at Pathlight Kitchen]. We are training and giving [low-income] students the skills they need to get and keep a job in the culinary field. [They] are on the road to be self-sufficient for themselves and their families.” To this point, there have already been many successes in this class. Multiple students have secured culinary jobs, one student is working toward starting a catering business, and other recent graduates are eagerly taking their marketable skills and applying for jobs.

 

Chefs Esteban and Holly have big plans they hope to implement for future classes. “We are excited to have Starbucks come in October to teach a class on drink preparation,” Esteban exclaimed. “We hope to expand Pathlight Kitchen into a catering service as well in the months to come.”

 

It is definitely an understatement that Chef Esteban and Holly make a great team. Holly boasts about her Culinary Institute of America educated colleague. When asked what advice they have for the recent graduates and for people considering enrolling in the Culinary Training Program, Chef Esteban said simply, “commitment and discipline is key in all aspects of life.”

 

Without a doubt, with Chefs as dedicated to empowering others as Esteban and Holly, we are confident our future students will continue to excel and work toward successful careers!

Social Enterprise – Sobik’s Subs with a Special Ingredient

The Sobik’s Subs location at 4049 S. Orange Blossom Trail, in front of Maxwell Garden Apartments, offers up an extra-special ingredient to go with its fresh sandwiches and salads!

This location is actually a Social Enterprise partnership of Sobik’s Subs and Pathlight HOME, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes the lives of homeless and low-income men and women through affordable housing and economic opportunities.

Sobik's Subs Cafe serves sandwiches and salads on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando

As a Social Enterprise, the unique café provides training and employment opportunities to formerly homeless and low-income students in the Pathlight KITCHEN Culinary Training Program, right along with delicious breakfast and lunch items, catering, an event room and free Wi-Fi.

 

Starbucks We Proudly Serve logoThanks to an added partnership with Starbucks “We Proudly Serve,” you can also enjoy Starbuck’s delicious coffees and teas.

 

Sobik's Subs logoThis real-world food and customer service experience for enterprising culinary students, a Manager who really “knows her culinary stuff,” and profits that go directly into Pathlight HOME’s housing, training, and employment programs make ordering from Sobik’s Subs of Orange Blossom Trail a great way to “give back.”

 

Give us a try, Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Call 407-447-3060 x 121, contact Uber Eats or visit in person, whether you want a meal for one or catering for a group!

Bites Camera ACTION!

A huge THANK YOU to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida & Universal Orlando Foundation for coming to Pathlight HOME this week with the "Bites, Camera, Action" food truck!

Our residents were absolutely thrilled with all the fresh produce, like broccoli, melons, & apples. We are all grateful for your consistent support!

 

The "Bites Camera Action" truck drops off food donations for formerly homeless Pathlight HOME residents

A resident of Pathlight HOME picks up a box of food donated by Second Harvest Food Bank and Universal Orlando Foundation

Residents of Pathlight HOME gather to pick up boxes of food donated by Universal Orlando and Second Harvest Food Bank

Residents of Maxwell Terrace, a low-income affordable efficiency apartment building, pick up food donated by Universal Orlando Foundation and Second Harvest Food Bank

Residents of Maxwell Terrace pick up food donated by community partners