Hi – I’m Stephanie!
“I’ve been with Pathways Vermont since July of 2021. During this time, I’ve served as a Rapid Rehousing Service Coordinator, the Southern Vermont Team Lead for Rapid Rehousing, and currently, I’m the Housing Coordinator for Bennington County. In my role as a Housing Coordinator, I conduct housing searches via online sources and my landlord list, meet with clients regularly to discuss their housing needs and barriers, complete housing applications, and provide support to the Property Manager as needed. What I appreciate about Pathways Vermont is our approach to supporting people where they are at the moment. Whether that means sleeping on a park bench, living in an apartment, or anything in between, we don’t judge people based on where they are in their current situation. Instead, we provide support with housing and any additional needs that they identify as important to them.
My most memorable Pathways experience to date is of an individual in the community who has been homeless for most of their life. This person was living under a bridge and had been since before Pathways had come to Bennington. They had been working with me as a Rapid Rehousing client and transitioned to a Housing First client once Rapid Rehousing ended. When we first started working together, this person was very hesitant to meet with me, and it took a lot to build their trust. We went from this person not being willing to get into my vehicle to them feeling comfortable to drive with me to get their social security card ordered at the social security office almost an hour away. In February of 2023, I was able to support this client by leasing up their own apartment with their Shelter Plus Care subsidy. They have been able to acquire furniture and make the space their home. They continue to work with the ACT team and have been successful with living in their own home.
I enjoy coming to work every day, knowing that the work that I do is directly supporting others. I love that I can go into the community and meet with clients, not just sit at a desk and hope they come in for our appointment. There’s also this feeling that we call the “housing high” that I get every time I house someone. This feeling of knowing that I was a part of something great encourages me to continue in order to benefit other clients. I really appreciate that Pathways puts our mental health needs into consideration as well. I have never worked at an organization where they encourage the employees to take care of themselves. I also really appreciate staff retreats, where we are encouraged to get to know each other more and to take days to relax as a group and bond. Pathways has expanded quickly in a short amount of time; however, they continue to listen to their employees’ needs. I feel like retention and pay was a huge topic during our last all-staff retreat, and within a year, they have been able to provide retention bonuses, have increased the minimum pay, and are working to compensate existing staff accordingly.”