Transitional Housing: Homelessness and PATH’s Ideas that Work
Senior Staff members of PATH, People Attempting To Help, Programs Director Mark Richardson, ED Andrea Wilson, and Finance & Administration Director Diane Kavanaugh. Senior Staff at PATH, People Attempting To Help: Programs Director Mark Richardson, ED Andrea Wilson, and Finance & Administration Director Diane Kavanaugh.

What about all 364 other days of the year? What can we do then? Serious people know this is a problem that deserves more than a scoop of holiday dressing and gravy.

Transitional Housing: People Attempting to Help

An amazing East Texas group, People Attempting to Help (PATH), is proving some ideas work. If you enlist the help of serious volunteers. 

Podcasts with Andrea Wilson

If you missed the first two blogs and podcasts we did with PATH Executive Director Andrea Wilson, please find them here: 

You’re gonna love Andrea’s down-to-earth, compassionate, tell-it-like-it-is approach to life. 

Ideas That Work

Homelessness may seem excruciatingly difficult, but some ideas work.

For PATH, their Transitional Housing Program provides just one very important tool in their arsenal to help families in crisis.

Oh, finally some ideas that might work! If that’s your thought, you can help, too, by giving or volunteering with PATH.

Transitional Housing Program: A Commitment

I loved what Andrea shared about PATH’s Transitional Housing Program. It’s not just a bandaid. All participants (recipients, case-workers, staff, volunteers) commit to a two-year relationship.

PATH owns 52 properties, according to Andrea. Even though case workers mentor families over a 2-year period, the self-sustaining responsibility and friendships fostered last so much longer. 

Respectfully, PATH offers “wrap around” services, like financial education and planning. Together, they have serious conversations. Along the way, families move from where they are now to where they want to be. 

“What does success look like to them? Is it home ownership? Is it market rate rental?” Maybe it’s family reunification. “All of those things. Because success is different for everyone,”  says Andrea.

Oilpatch Benevolence Fund

I can’t even imagine how strenuous the process is for PATH staff, volunteers, and recipients. Mentoring, discipling, essentially being family with families who need help.

Well, you can see why Dave and I get excited about PATH.

Certainly, economic downturns can flip a family upside down in a blink. The Lord knows, we have seen plenty in the energy sector. If you are interested in joining together to help families in the energy business, Oilpatch Benevolence Fund makes PATH a primary beneficiary of grants through East Texas Communities Foundation. Or give to PATH directly.

Respectful, Not Codependent

Attachment forms both ways between case workers and the families they serve. Andrea compares the process to watching a bird fly out of the nest. Sure, a nest is safe, but the goal is to fly.

“Give them the skills they need so they can be successful without you. Get to where you can just sit back and watch their success,” she says.

When families graduate from the Transitional Housing Program, they are often the first person in their entire family to ever own their own home. Success transforms the next several generations throughout their family. 

“Now their children see that as an example of what they can do with the hard work they watched their mom and dad do over the last few years, right?”

Miraculously, generations are changed.


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