“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” That is an encouraging quote from Christine Caine that fits so many circumstances at Pathways. It fits perfectly with the lives and situations of many people that enter our doors. When someone enters the shelter, they are at their last resort. Since 2017, we have witnessed 670 people being “planted” and growing into a success story. Not only do they achieve stable housing, they are connected with any other resources necessary to improve their skills. 

Christine’s quote also describes the way our staff and volunteers feel, when some days the only answer we can give to someone seeking shelter is to refer them elsewhere, because we have no space for them. When we moved into this building in 2015, we thought it would answer the local need for homelessness. It did for a while, but our waiting list since 2017 has shown the need for further growth. After a long search for additional temporary shelter in our community, we decided that renovating our basement was the best option to add shelter beds. I am proud to officially announce that we have received $209,089 in grant funding to put towards our basement renovation. This will cover a majority of the expenses necessary to get the ball rolling. It is our hope that by the time winter comes around, we will have adequate shelter space for those in need. While our organization felt it was in a dark place and not meeting the need, we kept reminding ourselves that we “planted” something great, and that we needed to continue growing into our potential. While there is much work to do, we are proud of the direction Pathways is moving.

On another topic, all Pathways clients, staff and volunteers have remained COVID-free to this point. A HUGE thank you to the individuals that answered our call for re-usable masks. We recently received over 100 masks that we can hand out to clients when they enter shelter. In the near future, we will be receiving a large supply of sanitizer that can be used to disinfect hands and surfaces.

Please continue to be safe, stay healthy, and find ways to support and lift each other up during this time.

June Statistics

• Emergency Shelter

53 unduplicated people received shelter in June for a total of 961 shelter nights. The 53 people broke down to 12 individual men, 3 individual women and 10 families with 24 children.

17 clients successfully completed our program and moved into stable housing. 4 clients were removed due to rule violation. 32 clients carried over into July.

Our waiting list sits at 35 people: 7 individual men, 7 individual women, and 7 families with 9 children.

• Homeless Prevention

Two households (2F, 0M, 5C) began Homeless Prevention enrollments in June after receiving eviction notices. HP Services totaled $3,679. Three households completed their program in June. One household was exited from the program for non-compliance and another was exited due to a tenancy change.

• Rapid Rehousing

One household began Rapid Rehousing enrollments in June (0F, 1M, 0C). RH services totaled $4,908. Three households completed their program in June.

• Security Deposit Assistance Program (SDAP)

Ten households (6F, 5M, 3C) received services totaling $5,679. Seven households were at risk of homelessness. Three households were literally homeless. Four of the households entered into income-based apartments, with a housing voucher or RH support.

• Success Story

This month’s success story is about a single mother, who had custody of her child and two grandchildren. We’ll call her Deb for confidentiality purposes. Deb, her daughter and two grandchildren had been bouncing from motel to motel during the pandemic. Once the pandemic started and schools were closed, Deb could not find anyone to look after the children. Therefore, she lost her job because she couldn’t leave the children at home while she worked. This led to the inability to pay rent, and they lost their apartment. They lived in a rural community in northern Nebraska (within our 60-mile service area), where there were not many resources available to her. She had some savings, so she used that to pay for her motel rooms. With her money dwindling and nowhere else to turn, Deb reached out to Pathways for help. We were able to get her into shelter and begin the process of getting her family moving in the right direction.

Deb was connected with the Department of Social Services to be enrolled in Medicaid, SNAP and TANF programs. Once those were in place, we began to search for income-based housing so the family could have stable housing until Deb was able to work again. Not long after completing numerous applications for housing, Deb and her family were accepted into a local income-based apartment community. Pathways provided all essentials for Deb’s family to move into their apartment and live comfortably.

Deb has since found childcare for the children, and has started working at a local small business.

• 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 jbailey@yanktonpathways.org, 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.

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