For the second time in six years, Pathway Homes received the Governor’s Award for Best Housing Program or Service. The Award was presented at Virginia’s 2013 Governor’s Housing Conference on November 21, 2013.
The Governor’s office selects the organization that best demonstrates innovative and creative solutions to providing services and/or assistance to citizens in need of help in meeting any aspect of housing need. Bill Shelton, Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, Bob Sledd, the Governor’s Senior Economic Advisor, and Susan Dewey, Executive Director of the Virginia Housing Development Authority presented the award to Pathway Homes’ representatives Dr. Sylisa Lambert-Woodard, President and CEO, Daniel Gray, Chairman of the Board, and Sherry Meyers, Vice President for Clinical Services.
Pathways received this award for its unique consumer-directed program launched in 2011. This person-centered approach enables consumers to manage the home themselves and moves away from more traditional residential service delivery models. The consumer-directed model empowers individuals by promoting individual rights, peer-to-peer support, and self-sufficiency in a solution- focused approach to recovery.
Pathway Homes greatly appreciates the leadership, support, and guidance provided by our Board of Directors and thanks them for supporting such innovative ventures. As we continually evolve our programs and strive to expand our ability to serve those in need, we want to give an additional thank you to our former Board member, Ron Wilensky, and his wife Lin, for being the catalyst for the purchase of our first consumer-directed home, “Dave’s House,” named after Lin’s brother. Dave’s memory and spirit were very much a part of the development of the consumer-directed program and his legacy continues. Ron and Lin have started a Brain Foundation organization in Florida and are continuing the expansion of this award-winning service delivery model.
Last, but certainly not least, Pathways wants to thank the consumers and counselors who provided hands-on support developing this radical idea. It certainly is not commonplace for “experts” in the mental health community to arrive at the conclusion that since consumers understand their own needs very well they will, when given the opportunity, take the lead in actively creating a real Recovery-oriented setting in which to live. The willingness of the consumers living in this consumer-directed house, along with the Pathways Consumer Advisory Council, to thoughtfully and tirelessly find positive solutions is what has made this program a success. We commend Pathway Homes’ staff members, who listened to consumer recommendations with open minds and nurtured—but not led—the implementation of these recommendations.