Miracles for struggling families and individuals come in unexpected ways when you encounter people who come to The Path in need of help and hope.
“Everyone has a family member or knows of someone who has struggled with the issues our clients do,” explains Diane Wilbur, women’s case manager at The Path. Wilbur knows this better than many people, as one of her own family members was helped by The Path several years ago.
Today, he’s a husband, the father of three sons, and a youth group minister.
Diane witnesses the same transformation in the lives of the women she works with at The Path. Her greatest and most rewarding challenge is working with mothers, as most have limited parenting skills, poor employment prospects and a lack of stability in their lives, putting their children at a serious disadvantage.
All women at The Path participate in Bible study and a biblical 12-step program, counseling sessions, and classes in nutrition, parenting, employment and budgeting. Wilbur then works with them one-on-one in the thrift shop for work therapy to develop their skills.
“Women arrive here broken in spirit, expressing fear of the unknown and hopelessness. Often, there is little or no family support and they realize this is due to a chaotic life style and poor choices,” Wilbur said. “Women seek a safe, structured, loving environment for themselves and their children. They confess that The Path is their last option.”
According to Path leaders, for several years three out of four calls for shelter had to be turned away due to lack of resources, space, or programs to meet the specific needs of single parents with children and families. Most calls were from women with children.
Executive Director DuWayne Sipper is currently working on the public phase of a $1.85 million capital campaign to raise the final $500,000 by June 2018 for renovating the former Beverly Hills Motel complex, which The Path purchased in August 2017. The complex is ideally suited as a “Family Rescue Mission” to shelter single parents with their children or intact families together.
The complex also allows for expansion of successful case-managed programs that improve health, life skills for the whole family, and provides time for addiction recovery, job training and successful transition to the community.
Public outreach during the campaign includes tours of the motel complex, a speaker’s bureau, and opportunities to give financially or volunteer. Watch for campaign updates on Facebook and at PathofCitrus.org. Learn more by booking a tour or a speaker by email at email@example.com or call The Path at 352-527-6500 ext. 9. A local 501(c)3 for over a decade, The Path is currently 100% privately-funded.