Partner Spotlight: Grosvenor Services

For more than 30 years, Pathlight HOME has been committed to ending homelessness and changing the lives of underserved individuals in our community. To support our efforts, we’re grateful for the many partners who work alongside us who also believe in our mission. 


Grosvenor Services – a cleaning and facilities management company – has been a key partner in our work.


“Pathlight HOME is an organization that is creating real change now,” says Rita T. McCauley, CEO of Grosvenor Services. “They are an inspiration and a true gift to our community.”


What started as a tour, has turned into more than two years of continuous support and investment. Grosvenor serves as a partner of Pathlight’s supportive employment program, which provides the opportunity for Pathlight clients to participate in a paid internship to build and strengthen their workplace skills.


What started as a tour, has turned into more than two years of continuous support and investment. For instance, Grosvenor serves as a partner of Pathlight’s supportive employment program, which allows a client to participate in a paid internship, so they build and strengthen their workplace skills. 


“Providing access to housing is just the first step in addressing and ending homelessness,” adds Babette Allen, CEO of Pathlight HOME. “True transformation happens with the wrap-around support we provide, like access to mental health counseling, our employment center and even our culinary training program. And because of organizations like Grosvenor Services, we can continue to serve the whole individual and guide them toward a life of self-sufficiency and stability.


To schedule a virtual tour and learn more about our programs and services, email

Kevin Poole: Board Member Announcement

Please join us in welcoming Kevin D. Poole, MSW, LNHA as a new board member of Pathlight HOME. Kevin currently serves as Executive Director of Support Operations for AdventHealth, where he leads the hospital’s performance improvement initiatives as well as various crisis and issues management.


Kevin D. Poole, MSW, LNHA Biography


Kevin D. Poole, MSW, LNHA currently serves as Executive Director of Support Operations for AdventHealth. In his role, he leads the hospital’s performance improvement initiatives as well as various crisis and issues management.


Prior to AdventHealth, he served as Executive Director for the Life Care Center of Jacksonville, a senior living facility. His expertise includes experience managing and overseeing administrative functions and compliance for hospital systems, rehabilitation centers and related healthcare facilities across the country.


Poole earned a master's degree in social work and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Adventist University-Collegedale. 

Transforming Lives: Celeste's Story

A Journey of Resilience

Celeste's path to Pathlight HOME was marked by unfortunate circumstances, as she found herself forced to leave a challenging domestic situation. 


For weeks she struggled to find affordable housing, eventually finding herself unhoused and finding refuge with friends. Those few weeks turned into two years without a place to call home. 


“At this point, an air mattress was what I had to call my own,” shares Celeste.


In addition to difficulty finding housing, Celeste also manages a number of chronic health conditions. While at the hospital, it was there she first learned about Pathlight HOME. 



Discovering Pathlight HOME

After making a full recovery, Celeste was inspired by the chance at a new opportunity. She immediately applied for Pathlight’s Restore program, which is dedicated to providing permanent supportive housing for former chronically homeless and disabled individuals.


“I didn’t think I would get approved,” says Celeste. “But I remember that day like it was yesterday. I got the call while standing in line at the grocery store and I couldn’t believe it.”


This unforgettable moment marked the beginning of a new chapter. 

A Welcoming Community and Supportive Services

Transitioning out of homelessness comes with its own set of challenges.


“I had nothing,” says Celeste. “But when I started working with Pathlight, they helped me get a new mattress, bed sheets, cups and more.”


Celeste shares that she vividly remembers “kissing the walls” because she finally had her sanctuary … her safe space … her home. 


In addition to housing, Celeste receives case management services that have empowered her to navigate various challenges, offering guidance, support, and resources to ensure her ongoing well-being. Additionally, the on-site medical services, such as regular blood pressure checks and weight monitoring, have helped Celeste manage her health conditions effectively.


“There’s no explanation for what it feels to have the support I have at Pathlight,” adds Celeste. “I used to wonder where I was going to sleep each night. Now, I am at peace. I can open my door and lock it. I can sleep in my bed.”  


Celeste's journey from homelessness to finding solace at Pathlight HOME is a testament to the transformative power of compassion and community. Through the support of Pathlight HOME's services, Celeste has not only refocused her life but also discovered her own resilience and strength. 


“I am so grateful to be where I am now,” adds Celeste. “I am blessed.”


With a housing-first philosophy rooted in compassion and love, Pathlight HOME believes in providing individuals with a stable home as the foundation for their journey to rebuilding their lives. Once residents are housed, we become a supportive partner, empowering them to make their own decisions and take ownership of their unique journeys.

Learn more about our impact

Clear Vision, Bright Futures

At Pathlight HOME, we believe everyone deserves a chance to build the life that affords them the opportunity to thrive in our community. For many of our clients, that starts with housing.


And thanks to OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, the leading global vision care foundation, and its partner Transitions, our clients at our Maxwell Gardens community also had a chance to prioritize their vision care.


At a recent vision clinic organized by the foundation, 83 Pathlight clients received free eye exams to address unresolved vision problems.


One of our residents, Holly, is a hostess at a restaurant and often had to squint to see the tablet she used to seat guests. In fact, squinting became so natural to Holly that she didn’t realize it until her co-workers pointed it out. At the end of the clinic she fitted with her first pair of glasses.


“I knew it was going to be life changing,” shares Holly.

The clinic leveraged the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation’s proven clinic model and manufacturing capabilities, enabling most participants in need of glasses to receive their newly prescribed, quality eyewear on-site.


At the end of the clinic, 100 percent of the clients who participated needed new glasses. And everyone who needed glasses received a pair that same day!


True transformation takes community partnerships, and we’re grateful to OneSight and Transitions for their commitment to providing equitable access to vision care.

Building Community Through Pathways Drop In Center

In 2021, Pathlight HOME added the Pathways Drop In Center as part of its service offerings. Pathways serves those who are unhoused and living with a mental illness by providing access to meals, showers, laundry and employment programs.


When someone becomes a member of Pathways Drop In Center, our team addresses their most critical and immediate needs first. But from there, we work with individuals to build up their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. 


That’s where our peer support groups and social activities come into the picture. Here are three reasons why socialization is an important part of addressing mental wellbeing:


Strong relationships can lead to better health. Research shows that strong social connections can lead to higher self-esteem and lower rates of anxiety and depression. In addition to the relationships that are formed, participating in activities like walking or outdoor games builds healthy habits among our members. 


Support groups help strengthen social skills. Through our peer support groups, we’re thankful to have instructors who lead various sessions like how to grow relationships or creative coping skills for managing stress. These sessions provide an opportunity for our members to connect with others who share similar experiences and interests. And that sense of belonging can give people a sense of purpose and meaning. 


Group activities reduce isolation and loneliness. Social isolation and loneliness are major risk factors for mental health issues. At Pathways Drop In Center, we strive to create a safe space where people don't have to walk their journey alone. Whether those relationships are built through painting, board games or field trips, the goal is to build community so that we can help our members thrive in their lives.  


To learn more about our drop-in center and its services, please visit

Celebrating Culinary Graduates

Graduation season is upon us and at Pathlight HOME, every eight weeks, we get to celebrate students who complete our Culinary Training Program.


During the eight-week course, students receive hands-on cooking classes, learn banquet dining skills and train in the field through Sobik’s Subs, a social enterprise that supports the mission of Pathlight. Students who complete the program receive the ServSafe Allergens and SafeStaff® Food Handler certifications. They also earn the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) designation as part of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Guest Service Gold® training.


Join us in celebrating the graduation of our recent students:

Machayla Beckman

Paul Evers

Rachael Campbell 

Petina Crews

Cecil Henningham

Elisha Adams

Breanna Woodman

Spring 2023 Grads

The Pathlight HOME Culinary Training Program launched in 2014. Morning and afternoon classes are offered Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 1:30-5 p.m. Applications are being accepted for upcoming classes.

Volunteer Spotlight: Aimie Hok

In 2021, Aimie was looking for a way to give back to her community but felt like other organizations she volunteered with in the past were big and too transactional.

“I love that Pathlight is like a family, and the leadership is always appreciative of your time,” Aimie says. “They show gratitude and take time to get to know each volunteer. You matter here.”


Aimie volunteers weekly at Pathlight after wrapping up her day as a dental assistant. She supports administrative tasks and helps to restock the food pantry. 


Even after putting in a full day at a busy dental practice, Aimie says she prioritizes serving with Pathlight because of the organization’s direct impact on the community. While growing up, Aimie’s family went through a difficult financial time, so she can relate and wants to give back. 


“There are other resources in the community, but there is no other organization like Pathlight,” shares Aimie. “People would have to go to multiple different places to have their needs met, whereas Pathlight is all-inclusive.” 

Aimie looks forward to continuing to support Pathlight.  


“It’s a basic human right to have a place to call home, something that you own and is personal for you,” Aimie adds. “We all deserve to have that.”

Volunteers like Aimie are critical to helping us fulfill our mission in serving our neighbors who were once homeless. We are so thankful for her years of compassion and service! 


Whether you’re an individual, school group, corporate group or otherwise, we provide a variety of volunteer opportunities. From assisting with resident social activities to serving meals or supporting our employment center and more, there’s a place for you. 

To learn more about becoming a volunteer with Pathlight HOME, visit our volunteer page.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Peck

Jessica is a hair stylist who enjoys helping her clients achieve the look of their dreams. In 2020, she brought that same passion to Pathlight, and began providing free haircuts once a month. She rotates each month from Maxwell Terrace to Maxwell Gardens and even the Pathways Drop-In Center. 


She shares that one of the best parts of that experience is meeting someone new, and building relationships along the way. And for many who sit in her chair, it’s more than a haircut. 


“I remember working with someone who had faced a number of challenges, including a health scare and depression,” shares Jessica. “And his decision to shave his hair was really a moment of transformation. It was an opportunity to rid himself of the past and celebrate his path forward.”


During her monthly visits, Jessica provides anywhere from 10-15 haircuts. She also often brings co-workers to support as well. Since becoming a volunteer, Jessica has given more than 300 haircuts. 


“Volunteering is a part of me,” says Jessica. “And it’s even better working alongside people who truly care. The residents at Pathlight have a home, but even more, they have a family who wants to see them thrive.”


Volunteers like Jessica are critical to helping us fulfill our mission in serving our neighbors who were once homeless. We are so thankful for her years of compassion and service! 


Whether you’re an individual, school group, corporate group or otherwise, we provide a variety of volunteer opportunities. From assisting with resident social activities to serving meals or supporting our employment center and more, there’s a place for you. 

To learn more about becoming a volunteer with Pathlight HOME, visit our volunteer page.

Honoring the Women Who Serve

It’s International Women’s Week, and we are celebrating by highlighting the hard-working, dedicated and caring women of Pathlight HOME. They help us serve those experiencing homelessness by providing affordable housing and economic opportunities. We spoke to a few of the devoted women of Pathlight HOME about what motivates them to serve their community and how they found their way to Pathlight.

“Serving the community means a lot to me because I am able to witness lives changed for the better and I can lend a hand in whatever way I can.”

Sheila Beaty, Employment Counselor

In 2018, Sheila retired from a 43-year-long career at the Department of Health and Human Services. A few years later, she became inspired by our mission and joined Pathlight HOME. Sheila has a heart to serve and genuinely enjoys helping those seeking assistance to improve their lives. She works in our Employment Center and Culinary Program to help students develop their employability skills to assist in their job search. Sheila enjoys witnessing the growth of Pathlight HOME’s Culinary Program participants, saying, “Some students start the program with no confidence, afraid and no plans for the future. When they graduate, some are surprised they are able to pass the test.”


Fun fact: I love almost all types of music and I love to dance and sing

“It’s a privilege to be part of a team of compassionate and skilled professionals who head home at the end of the day with a sense of pride about our efforts, knowing that we made a difference – one person at a time.”

Audrey Sandford, Programs Manager

Audrey’s journey with Pathlight HOME began in 2002, as a case manager for the Homes for New Beginnings program. Over the past two decades, she developed and worked in other case management programs at Pathlight HOME. As a registered nurse, Audrey has applied her bedside nursing and case management skills to serving newly-housed individuals with mental and physical disabilities. Serving the community and respecting people whether underserved or homeless is a part of who she is. For Audrey, it is a privilege to be a part of Pathlight HOME’s team of compassionate and skilled professionals. She takes pride in Pathlight’s efforts of serving the community.


Fun fact: I teach the Hebrew language to people of all ages.

“One day at a time, we are collectively putting in the work to make changes that better our community.”

Natalia Lescano, Volunteer & In-Kind Coordinator

Serving the community means the world to Natalia. She is our Volunteer & In-Kind Coordinator. Nat coordinates the volunteers that support Pathlight HOME and oversees our in-kind donation process. She joined us in October 2022 after graduating from UCF with a bachelor's in nonprofit management, later developing her skills in nonprofit operations and event support. Making a positive change in the lives of Pathlight HOME's residents, clients and members motivates Nat as a nonprofit leader. When asked what it means to serve the community, she says “One day at a time, we are collectively putting in the work to make changes that better our community.”


Fun fact: I'm a big foodie, I love hunting down hidden gems in our city.

“Supporting people who are looking to better their lives through community service helps to grow an even stronger community.”

Diana Gonzalez, Assistant Property Manager

Community and volunteer work is a big part of Diana’s life. For her, serving the community means “helping people who have not been as blessed as you.” Diana believes giving support and a smile goes a long way when people have lost hope. She joined Pathlight in 2018 after being referred to an administrative assistant position in Maxwell Garden. Before accepting the job, she actually worked as a security officer at Maxwell Garden with a different company. Diana has since been promoted to a leasing consultant in 2020 and is now an assistant property manager. She says that supporting people who are looking to better their lives through community service helps to grow an even stronger community.


Fun fact: I love to spend my time with family and friends and most importantly my daughter. It's become so much fun being the sidekick in all her adventures.

“During my time of need, all that I needed was someone to help me along the way. I strive to be that to my clients.”

Tatiana Cherry, Assistant Lead Case Manager

Even before joining Pathlight HOME, Tatiana has always been passionate about helping those experiencing homelessness. Tatiana's own experience of overcoming homelessness encouraged her to seek out opportunities to help others in a similar position. Previously working as a receptionist, housing specialist and housing case manager at a low-barrier residential shelter, Tatiana says she realized her “true purpose is helping others.” As a case manager at Pathlight HOME, she continues her goal of being there for her community. Assisting someone to overcome barriers motivates Tatiana to never give up as a nonprofit leader. Her experience working with case workers who were kind, thoughtful and understanding inspires her to provide the same grace to her clients at Pathlight HOME.


Fun Fact: I enjoy spending time with my 3 children and sisters. 

Pathlight HOME Names Babette Allen Chief Executive Officer

We are proud to announce that Babette Allen has been named the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Pathlight HOME. Babette has served as president since 2020, and has been with the organization for more than 16 years. Helaine Blum, our co-founder, and who has spent more than 30 years serving the homeless in our community, will serve as president emeritus. 

“Babette’s passion and extensive experience serving the unhoused in our community makes her the perfect leader for Pathlight HOME,” said Larri Thatcher, board chair of Pathlight HOME. “With thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community, the importance of our work is even greater and Babette will help guide Pathlight into the future.”


Since joining Pathlight in 2007, Babette has helped spearhead a number of service expansions, including the opening of an employment resource center and the acquisition of Pathways Drop-In Center, a respite center that primarily focuses on the underserved who have a mental illness. 


“I’m thankful to our board for trusting me to carry out the legacy of what Reverend Fred Maxwell and Helaine Blum created more than 30 years ago to address this need in our community,” said Allen. “We’ve long recognized that housing is only the first step to addressing homelessness, and in the coming months, I’m excited to share what we have on the horizon to better serve our clients and our community.”

Pathlight HOME is Central Florida's first and largest provider of the housing first model. Each year, the organization houses more than 600 men and women, while also connecting its clients to career training opportunities, a food pantry and various community resources. To learn more about how you can support Pathlight HOME, visit