Pathways Vermont transforms the lives of people experiencing mental health and other life challenges by supporting self directed roads to recovery and wellness in an atmosphere of dignity, respect, choice and hope.
We advocate for the rights of people to live without stigma and discrimination and promote civil rights, community integration, health care, affordable housing and employment for all.
At the core of all Pathways Vermont’s services and operations is a values-based philosophy that includes:
- Individual Choice and Self-Determination
- Trauma Informed
- Harm Reduction
- Peer Support
- Community Integration
- Respect, Warmth and Compassion
Pathways Vermont was initially founded in 2009 with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement Housing First services in Vermont. Housing First asserts that housing is a basic human right and provides a model for supporting individuals with long histories of homelessness and multiple disabilities access and maintain permanent housing through long -term mental health services and psychosocial support.
Over the next few years, Pathways began partnering with the state departments of Corrections and Mental Health to decrease institutionalization through the Housing First model. These partnerships facilitate transitioning individuals with long histories of institutionalization in prisons and hospitals back into their home communities.
We further expanded our services for homeless Vermonters by launching our Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program in 2014. Like Housing First, the SSVF program offers a permanent solution to homelessness. The SSVF program strives to end veteran homelessness through rapid-rehousing and short term assistance. Today, Pathways offers a statewide network of permanent housing and support services to address chronic and veteran homelessness.
Our experiences working with vulnerable Vermonters made us aware of unmet community needs, prompting Pathways to develop of a number of community mental health initiatives. Two of these programs, the Vermont Support Line and the Community Center, provide immediate access to non-judgmental, compassionate support for Vermonters who have experienced trauma and mental health crisis. Our most recent initiative, Soteria, provides residential, adaptive support for individuals experiencing their first mental health crisis, hopefully preventing the need for hospitalization.
In May 2014 Pathways was awarded designation as a Specialized Services Agency (SSA) by the Department of Mental Health, the first such designation awarded to a mental health organization since the 1980s. This action solidifies our organization’s sustainability for the future and formalizes its inclusion in the system of care. More importantly, this decision speaks to the true originality of our programming and the need it meets in the state of Vermont.