Funded by the Santa Cruz County Planning Department , Phased Assistance To Housing (PATH), is a flexible approach to housing stability for homeless and at-risk families. Participants work with their FIT Case Manager to develop an individualized set of goals for housing, employment and any issues impacting stability. The plan focuses on obtaining and maintaining permanent housing that the family will be able to afford long term, with a short term rental subsidy to help them get back on their feet. The amount and duration of the subsidy is highly individualized to most effectively address the individual family circumstances. Currently PATH is only available to housing units in the unincorporated areas of the County.
Here are some success stories of families who participated in PATH
Jeannie and Tony and their five children almost lost their housing after Tony suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury –TBI- in a car accident. Tony, who had always been the primary wage earner, was no longer able to work. In addition to the financial crisis, the entire family was also under a huge amount of stress from the lack of impulse control and angry outbursts Tony experienced following the accident. FIT staff worked with the family to develop a budget, apply for Social Security Disability benefits, and access resources to help the family adjust to their changed lives. Tony was enrolled in a day program for adults with TBI. This not only greatly improved Tony’s level of functioning, but allowed Jeannie the time to get a part-time job while her children were at school. Financial assistance focused on several months of paying the majority of rent while waiting for benefits to start, followed by two months of partial payments while Jeannie secured employment.
Isabel and her two young children were staying here and there following her rental being foreclosed on. She was worried about how she would afford housing along with all her other bills. She was paying almost half of her income just for a patchwork system of childcare. She and her FIT Case Manager mapped out a plan that included budgeting for future income and expenses –saving her income tax return for higher cost summer child care for her older child – and getting on the list in the spring for a full-day Head Start program for her younger child. When she found a small cottage she was provided with first months full rental assistance, followed by several months of partial assistance while waiting for her youngest child to enter the Head Start program so she could work full-time.