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New Times / Strokes & Plugs

The following article was posted on November 13th, 2013, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 16 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 16

PathPoint of SLO is still going strong after 50 years

BY LAREINA GAMBOA

In just two months, SLO PathPoint will celebrate their golden anniversary, and they’ve just received some exciting news to add to their celebrations; PathPoint was given a $10,000 grant from the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) last month.

The SCDD grant, which will be supporting the organization’s Healthy Relationships Project, will go toward hiring peer trainers to support and educate people with disabilities to establish healthy relationships.

Over the past five decades, PathPoint has been very successful in helping those with disabilities find their place in society. They help everyone from those with Asperger’s syndrome and autism, to even veterans who need help getting back into the workforce.

The organization employs 80 staff members who help on average about 400 disabled people land jobs, and a place of their own. Clients are not placed in a group home, but in a residential support home. There, they are not alone, but are still afforded the privacy that comes with having their own living space. Some require daily attention and care, while others can go an entire month before they need a nudge in the right direction again, like a small reminder to pay rent.

Though SLO PathPoint has many success stories, like Roger, a veteran who was once homeless and jobless, now established and settled after a year of assistance, and Armando G. E. Vargas, who published his own poetry book called The Process of Re-mending, SLO Path Point’s VP and Director Aline Graham, and Program Coordinator for People First of SLO Dave Miklas, know there is a lot more to be done.

However many success stories the organization racks up, the job is never complete, which is why Graham and Miklas are excited to decide exactly how the grant will be spent. They also realize this new direction encouraging healthy intimate relationships is going to be a challenge.

“There are many people who don’t want this happening,” Graham said. But knowledge is power, which is why Graham and Miklas have already enthusiastically begun hashing out the details of how they will put their grant to work. A very small portion of the grant may even go toward their 50th anniversary celebrations, but that’s still around the corner.

October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), so they will most likely wait until next October to tie in all the major festivities of their 50th anniversary. Until then, they may have an event here or there, but one that will hold true is their yearly Christmas dance. The Christmas dance is organized for people with disabilities, and together they select a nonprofit organization to donate all proceeds from the dance.

This year they chose RISE, which is in conjunction with the SARP center for local sexual assault, violence, and abuse survivors.

SLO PathPoint and those with disabilities also help deliver Meals on Wheels throughout the year.

To see what SLO PathPoint has to offer, or to join their team, visit pathpoint.org/san-luis-obispo-county/. SLO PathPoint’s division headquarters is located at 265 South Street, Suite H, and can be reached at 782-8890.

 

Fast fact

Throughout Nov. 27 Community Action Partnership is promoting Adult Wellness and Prevention Screening by offering free health screenings all month, Mon. through Thurs. from 9 a.m. to noon at CAPSLO on 1030 Southwood Drive in SLO. For more information, visit communityactionpartnership.org, e-mail dnewel@capslo.org, or call 544-2484 ext. 1.

 

Intern Lareina Gamboa compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to strokes@newtimesslo.com.