Pathways offers program-operated residences for adults with a serious mental illness who are in need of residential support and housing. Our home sites are chosen for their integration in defined neighborhoods and proximity to community services and merchants. The aim is to foster a sense of belonging and identification as well as to maximize access to points of contact typically used or frequented in daily living. We own numerous single-family homes situated in central St. Mary’s County. These homes accommodate 3-4 persons each; each resident generally has a private bedroom.
Our goal is to integrate residents into the community by providing support services that promote self-sufficiency and independent skills. Staff provides varying levels of support, depending on an individual’s need.
Our housing is considered to be transitional; it provides individuals with a homelike environment at an affordable cost for the period of time necessary for the individual to make more permanent or independent arrangements. In some cases, residency may be indefinite. There are set fees for room and board; the amount that a tenant pays is determined according to a sliding scale based on income. Once an individual is accepted, assistance is given with accessing entitlements that the individual may be eligible for, (such as food stamps, Medical Assistance insurance, and Section 8 housing).
The Transitional Age Youth (TAY) program provides psychiatric rehabilitation and, in certain cases, housing to young people 17-21 who have a mental health diagnosis and meet the eligibility requirements for Maryland’s Public Mental Health System (PMHS). This program is partially funded by a tri-county grant and therefore provides services to youth in the Southern Maryland counties of St. Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert. While the majority of persons who utilize this program reside in the community, many times with their family, Pathways operates a limited amount of program-sponsored, temporary housing for those for whom alternative arrangements are unavailable.
The TAY program is guided by the principles of “positive youth development” promoted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families. It offers a structured workshop curriculum to teach young people a variety of skills including symptom management, health and hygiene, budgeting, financing and maintaining an apartment in the community. Program staff assists tenants in establishing residency in environments that meet their needs while preparing them for more independent living. Support services also attempt to address the immediate needs of the individual while promoting the experience of independence.
Growth within the program is measured by progression through the TAY Phases. Each phase marks a milestone towards completion of the transitional program and culminates in graduation and, ideally, independent living for each individual. Success is facilitated by TAY Workshops and is measured in areas such as character development, vocational and educational experience, and hygiene and household management. Measurable outcomes additionally help assess readiness for greater independence such as educational achievement, employment, income savings, and stable housing.