Pathways Day Services to re-open thanks to Community Foundation grant

Oct. 31—The Pathways Day Center, which closed several weeks ago, will be able to re-open thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, the foundation announced Tuesday.

Pathways, operated by Reach Services, provides services and programs for the homeless. The day center at 504 S. 15th Street had to temporarily close due to funding issues, agency officials confirmed Oct. 11.

Sarah Chandler, Reach Services executive director, said on Tuesday she is working closely with her board to determine when Pathways can re-open.

"We are 150 percent going to re-open. We are so grateful and so excited for the generosity of the community foundation," Chandler said.

She plans to contact clients soon to let them know that Pathways will be re-opening.

On Oct. 25, the Wabash Valley Community Foundation approved a grant of up to $50,000 to be paid out in monthly installments of $5,000 in support of operating costs of the Pathways programs until Pathways can obtain alternate funding.

"We're about helping the people in our community," said Beth Tevlin, WVCF executive director. Especially with weather already starting to get cold, "This is a facility that needs to be open for the homeless in our community."

On Thursday, the Community Foundation will present Reach Services with the first installment to help reopen the Pathways Day Center, according to a WVCF news release.

"We thought it was imperative we move forward to reopen this important facility," Tevlin said.

It's a one-time grant, and the community foundation hopes that by providing funding to tide Pathways over, "They will be assertive in raising additional funding" to maintain operations, Tevlin said.

If someone is interested in establishing an endowment for Pathways to help fund ongoing operations, they can contact Tevlin at the Wabash Valley Community Foundation.

The Pathways closure was related to funding issues, and in particular, ongoing operational expenses including monthly mortgage and utilities.

"With any nonprofit, funding is always an issue," Travis Phillips, Reach Services director of operations, said at that time.

Susie Thompson, former Reach executive director now working as consultant to assist Pathways, said the agency had been "promised" $200,000 from a source that did not materialize. She declined to identify that source.

Chris Moore, Reach board president, said at that time the the board found it necessary to close Pathways because it didn't want to jeopardize other Reach Services programs. Reach was having to subsidize Pathway program funding shortfalls, he said.

In June 2022, the Pathways Day Center had a ribbon cutting for its new 4,500 square-foot facility on South 15th Street.

At the time, Reach officials reported that funding sources included the city, which was to provide $415,000 in COVID relief dollars; $20,000 from Vigo County commissioners and $40,000 from grants and other donations.

The $415,000 went toward renovation of the facility, and the city provided additional assistance when costs skyrocketed during Covid, Thompson said.

Pathways has served as a hub for services and programs aimed at encouraging self-sufficiency among homeless and at-risk populations in the Wabash Valley.

The homeless have been able to take showers, get mail, do laundry and use computers. They've had access to resources for housing, employment, agency referrals and education.

It also has bedrooms and has served as a heating and cooling center in extreme weather conditions.

Several community partners had a role in making the day center for the homeless a reality, officials said during the opening.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue