Greetings, P&D readers!
August is bittersweet for most people. It marks the end of summer, but the beginning of a new school year.
From speaking with the children living at Pathways, they all were excited to get back to school and see their friends. This year, however, they had some anxiety about stepping foot in their school buildings again. We all know why — there is no need for me to bring it up again.
The reason I mention their anxiety is that the children living at Pathways were provided everything they need, free of charge, in order to be ready for the school year. Thanks to United Way’s “Stuff the Bus” program (and other private donors), the children had all school supplies needed to start the year on the right foot. Thanks to our friends at Trinity Lutheran Church (and a few anonymous donors), each child had masks of their own. That doesn’t even include the 2,800 masks donated to Yankton School District by Hydro. Receiving all of these supplies showed the children how much their community cares for them. It took away much of the anxiety they were feeling, and allowed them to face the school year with limited fear.
The beginning of another school year means something else to the parents of those children: it means they know their children will be in good hands while they are at school, and they can turn their attention to other important tasks needed to move forward in their lives. Maybe that means taking on a second job, or it’s time to work towards obtaining their GED. Whatever it is, having a safe place for children to go means the world to parents – especially if you don’t have a place to call “home”.
In terms of operations at Pathways, we have a couple of new faces on our team. Michael Brister, one of our Advocates for the past four years, has taken on our Case Manager position. Moving into the Advocate position is one of our previous volunteers, Jennifer Morkve. The transition has been smooth and we are excited to continue moving forward as a team!
We will be taking a break from soliciting donations over the next two months (September and October), so our local United Way can pursue their fundraising campaign. When we come back in November, we will have an exciting week planned for Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week!
Thank you for reading!
• Emergency Shelter
Fifty-two unduplicated people received shelter in July for a total of 874 shelter nights. The 52 people broke down to 11 individual men, 3 individual women and 12 families with 22 children.
Sixteen clients successfully completed our program and moved into stable housing. 5 clients were removed due to rule violation. 31 clients carried over into August.
Our waiting list sits at 53 people: 12 individual men, 4 individual women, and 10 families with 21 children.
• Homeless Prevention
Three households (1F, 2M, 1C) began Homeless Prevention enrollments in July after receiving eviction notices. HP Services totaled $4,960. Three households completed their program in July.
• Rapid Rehousing
Three households (2F, 1M, 4C) began Rapid Rehousing enrollments in July. Two households that began their enrollment in April were recertified for a further 3 months. RH services totaled $4,875. Three households completed their program in July.
• Security Deposit Assistance Program (SDAP)
Ten households (4F, 6M, 8C) received deposits totaling $3,597. Three households were at risk of homelessness. Seven households were literally homeless. Eight of the households entered into housing that was either income-based apartments, paid through a housing voucher or RH support.
• Cause of Homelessness
This month’s scenario is a single mother with four young children. This family lived in a rural area just outside of Yankton. As a single mother with no transportation, she had to rely on friends and family for rides into town (keep in mind these sources of transportation live about an hour from Yankton — these trips didn’t happen very often). She knew it would be beneficial to her family if she was able to live directly in Yankton; more access to services, necessary supplies, employment, childcare, etc. It turned out that a friend moved into an apartment with a spare bedroom. This friend invited the family to live there until they could find their own place. Sounds good in theory, right? Well, this was not cleared with the property owner, and the lease only stated one individual could live there. The young family was given three days to find another place to live. The mother contacted Pathways and we placed her on our waiting list. Fortunately, she was able to stretch her stay with the friend for a few extra days until we had a spot for her at Pathways. Once in shelter, we connected the mother with resources in Yankton necessary for her success. Currently, the children are enrolled in childcare and the mother is searching for employment.
• Current Needs
While we are encouraging physical distancing, we do still have projects available for one person which will involve zero contact with anyone else. Projects include some basic construction, organizing donations, and assistance with organizing our furniture storage. If you have an interest in helping, especially if you have some extra time, please reach out to Jesse at email@example.com, or call 605-665-8994.
If you are interested in donating supplies, please find our updated list at www.yanktonpathways.org/give.
Pathways Shelter for the Homeless serves the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness within the Yankton area, while engaging partners in developing long-term solutions. The shelter was founded on the belief that everyone deserves a home.