Extended Housing Visits Washington, D.C.

PATH Grantee Meeting

The biennial PATH Grantee Meeting took place on December 8 – 10, 2010 in Washington D.C. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Effective PATH Programs”.  States and territories shared best practices in workshops on Homeless Management Information Systems, outreach, consumer disclosure in the workplace, and partnerships.  Advocacy and national organizations provided policy and federal updates on issues related to the PATH program.

Our very own Phyllis Wilcox and Leah Ciofani represented Extended Housing and spoke on December 10th about recovery and the PATH program at Extended Housing, highlighting Extended Housing’s PATH Homeless Advisory Council and their activities throughout the year.

The PATH Program is administered by the Center for Mental Health Services, a component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one of eight Public Health Service agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The PATH Program – Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness – was authorized by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1990.

PATH is a formula grant to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are almost 500 local organizations that provide PATH services.

PATH services are for people with serious mental illness, including those with co-occurring substance use disorders, who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. PATH services include community-based outreach, mental health, substance abuse, case management and other support services, as well as a limited set of housing services.

Extended Housing’s Homeless Advisory Council was formed in 2009 and has proven to be very successful.  The council consists of currently and formally homeless persons and the mission is to discuss needs in our county, focusing on the homeless and what we can do to address those needs.  Some of the things the council has accomplished include:

  • A fundraiser held at the Mentor Wal-Mart selling baked goods.  The support from the community was humbling with five hundred dollars raised in three hours.
  • A chili-to-go night where a Cub Scout group delivered filled back packs to pass out that night as a community service project.
  • Participation in the Convoy of Hope, educating and outreaching to people in need.
  •  A coat and blanket drive throughout Lake County this past October.  The outpour of donations was overwhelming, so much that we needed to obtain a storage unit.  The donations were passed out during a dinner held with the money that the council raised at the bake sale.
  • Passing out hot chocolate to people on the street.

The council is excited about their upcoming participation in the 2011 Point-In-Time count and they bring new ideas of outreach to the table.  The council has evolved beyond Extended Housing’s expectations and is one of the greatest highlights of the PATH program.

As an added bonus during the Washington trip, on December 9th, the National Christmas Tree Lighting provided an opportunity for Phyllis and Leah to come together with other Americans to celebrate the season and to share the message of peace.

Thank you to Phyllis Wilcox (Director of Housing Services), Leah Ciofani (Homeless Outreach Coordinator), & Terry Wagner (Homeless Outreach Worker) for all that you do for Extended Housing and the PATH program!