Pathways Vermont‘s Housing First Program provides housing and support services for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have a history of mental health and other life challenges, many of whom do not or can not utilize more traditional services offered by the current system of care.
Pathways operates throughout most of Vermont, their Housing First program represents the first adaptation of the model to a rural state. On Friday staff and Executive Director of Pathways Vermont, Hilary Melton, testified in front of the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions for the need to replace expiring federal SAMSHA funds. MyChamplainValley has more:
They don’t refuse anyone, which means many of their clients have complicated histories and would have nowhere else to turn if Pathways closed. That’s why staff appealed to the House Committee on Corrections and Institutions Friday. Melton says Pathways could soon lose half its funding. “The federal government money, which is about $800,000 annualized, is running out in October of 2014,” Melton said. She hopes the state will help plug the hole. “There is a chance we could shut down,” she said. That would be devastating to people like Ken Hadlock, and would put over 200 of Pathways’ “Housing First” clients out on the street. “It would really tear me down if they shut down,” Hadlock said. “Because they’re really good support.” Pathways also told the committee their organization saves the state money, because it gives beds to people who would otherwise resort to the emergency room or end up back in jail.
Watch the full report online here.