Something different is happening at The Path. I remember when we were in the housing explosion here in Citrus County, the contractors, especially the brick layers could not wait for our guys to help them with the bricks in building the houses. This went on for over a year. Then, just as fast as it came, it went away.
For ten years now, our people in the shelter have struggled to find jobs.
Now when I say job, I don’t mean a few hours a week and you probably are not going to go very far in getting out of the shelter and providing for yourself. Our goal here is to make sure you don’t have to come right back to the shelter because you were not making enough money to support yourself. There are too many people who need our services.
For several months now, our men are finding full time jobs, many of them above minimum wage. This has caused The Path to rent another house in Beverly Hills to help us with our programs. Normally we do not have a problem with the men helping us with the bargain stores and the farm, but with the new development we are rethinking how we do everything here.
We are starting to see a shortage of help and the last thing we want to do is take away from our other services. I have said in the past that I think a true crime is when men want to go to work and can’t, no matter what the reasons are. It is hard enough to get people to want to work and when they want to, they should. In America, work translates into money and money for the men translates into taking care of their families or their problems to get them out of the shelter where they make more choices of their own.
While they are at the shelter, we try to help them with choices that will be constructive. The men are a lot more agreeable when they find work or work that is helping them with their situation. The mood sure is a lot better than frustrated people.
Our program is going to grow. Not because it makes money, just the opposite. It’s because Citrus County and it’s residents have recognized the work and for lack of a better word, it is good. The Path for the last 2 years is 100% privately funded by you. We take care of these people because the Bible tells us to and who knows, one of these guys might end up working for you?
DuWayne Sipper, Executive Director