Homelessness: A Compassionate PATH to Help

These are some of the questions I had for PATH Executive Director Andrea Wilson. PATH stands for People Attempting to Help.

PATH Execuive Director Andrea WilsoPATH Executive Director Andrea Wilson pictured right.
(Callynth Photography)

PATH’s individual, personal care of their clients via their case workers and serious volunteers is impressive.

In case you missed it, Andrea shared her story last week in a blog called, Civic-Minded Kids: PATH for the Next Generation with Andrea Wilson.

You’ll love the way Andrea speaks realistically about one of the most challenging community issues facing modern America: homelessness. Her thoughts may inspire and challenge you. For sure, she’ll make you want to help in any ways you can. Find Andrea’s story or more FREE Fireside Talk Radio podcasts.

Oilpatch Benevolence Fund

Personal care, accountability, and compassion are just a few of the reasons we made PATH our primary OBF (Oilpatch Benevolence Fund) beneficiary so far.

Plus, we like their fearlessness when it comes to finding solutions to the community-wide challenge of homelessness.

Our big idea was simple, we wanted some sort of safety net for all those East Texans in the energy sector. A group of us banded together to create the Oil Patch Benevolence Fund. It’s easy to make a contribution to the OBF fund. Or make a donation directly to PATH.

Boots On the Ground, Practical Help

At PATH, compassion begins by making sure clients are treated respectfully.

“We know, Andrea says, “those twenty steps from our parking lot to the front door are the hardest ones that most people are gonna take.”

Staff and volunteers try to see life from the perspective of someone who is momentarily in crisis, but determined to get help. 

“So that’s our number one goal, ‘How do we make it easy?’”

Serious Volunteers

Additionally, Andrea emphasizes the heart of those who volunteer at PATH.

They want to offer true help to families in crisis. Not patronizing or condescending or co-dependent.

“From the very beginning, Mrs. Windsor wanted people to be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect,” Andrea says, “We continue that 36 years later. People may come into PATH and never sit down with a staff member because we have such seasoned volunteers who can walk them through whatever their need is. What brought them to PATH in the first place.”

At PATH, the key is relationship building, according to Andrea. 

“Anytime you walk in the door you will sit down with a case worker (staff or seasoned volunteer) in private where those relationships can begin to be built. So if you don’t know where to go and you’re in a crisis, you have a safe place.”

Culture in Crisis

“’Everybody is in crisis; some people just don’t know it yet,’ a wise, anonymous friend once told me.” ~Cathy Krafve

If you’re concerned about our uplifting our hurting culture with positive messages, don’t miss our two upcoming events for book-lovers, Book Bananza and Writing Friends PopUp Seminar. More at the bottom of today’s blog.

Paycheck to Paycheck

When people live paycheck to paycheck, one “small” crisis may begin the slide to homelessness, according to Andrea. 

“A great example is a car has broken down and they can’t afford $250 to get it repaired. Well, that’s $250 they’re not going to have to pay towards a utility bill or towards their rent.”

She reports that so many people in East Texas are “food insecure” that PATH could give away groceries all day long.

“But once they get in our door and they’re sitting down with a case worker, then we can look at the whole picture.”


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