MODESTO -- Bianca Gomez, 22, sits in her reading chair at Pathways Transitional housing.
"When I was younger, things were much harder for me," she said. "My family was very small, we didn't have any support from outside areas except for government support. My mom was a single mother and it was a little difficult."
She said Child Protective Services eventually stepped in, separating her and her two sisters from their mom.
"I had to grow up on my own a lot," she said. "After going to foster care, my father took care of me, but my mother and father were divorced ... so I didn't know my father. I was very rebellious and I ran away a lot, so I was homeless a lot and I relied on my friends to let me crash on their couch or stay at their house."
After a few years, Gomez gave up on high school, started smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Then she heard about Pathways. "It wasn't until I was just completely washed up that I really needed to just to get on my own feet and start acting like an adult," she said.
"So I did, and I came here and I've been over here for about a year now and I can honestly say that it truly helps me. If it wasn't for Pathways, I would probably still be on the streets right now."
She also says staying at Pathways has actually helped her because in the past year she has been able to get a job, get her GED, and has saved more than $3,000. She is now attending Modesto Junior College.
Pathways is a transitional living and supportive services program for young adults ages 18 to 22. The Modesto-based program serves the homeless, and many of the participants are former foster care youth who have limited financial and emotional support.
Address: Center for Human Services, Pathways, 608 E. Granger, Modesto, 95350
Phone number: (209) 526-3809
Web site: www.centerforhumanservices
No-cost housing for up to 21 months.
Weekly case management and substances abuse counseling.
Mental health counseling.
Life skills classes.
After care services.
Food and nutrition education.
Referral and linkage to the community.
How we serve those in need:
Pathways recently graduated a young man after he completed the program. This young man came to Pathways as a referral from another Center for Human Services program. He was homeless and had no family for support. He had completed high school and though he wanted to continue with junior college, he felt that without the support and guidance of our program he might not be able to survive. Some of the obstacles he faced included delayed language skills and lack of social skills. He had a family history of drugs and crime. He was with Pathways for 21 months. He became employed full time then enrolled in college; he saved over $5,000, and purchased a vehicle. He never used drugs or alcohol and he learned many independent living skills that allowed him to obtain a place to live after the program. He returns often to visit and we are extremely honored to have served him.
Individuals and/or families assisted per month?
We can serve 16 youth in our residential program at a time. We also provide aftercare services for former residents.
How a $10 donation can help:
1. Two meals for one resident.
2. Provide a hygiene kit.
3. Laundry detergent to wash four residents clothing for 30 days.
1. Provide a pair of shoes.
2. Provide a bus pass for one month for a resident.
1. Purchase two weeks of groceries for one resident.
1. Pay for two hours of individual counseling or three hours of alcohol and other drug counseling.
Pathways can always use volunteers. We ask that our volunteers be willing to commit to eight hours a week for 12 months. Contact Paula Harter at (209) 526-3809
Anything else we should know?
We have no fees for our services.