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Harry, 59, navigates the grocery store on his cane, picking out noodles, drinks and other items. He doesn’t make any choice quickly: He scrutinizes each item, looks at the nutritional listing and compares prices. Harry said making good choices is important to him, especially after living on the streets for decades. He defines being homeless as “deciding, making choices, right from wrong and how to find help.”

Harry is glad to have now made the choice to live in an apartment, supported by a team from Pathways to Housing PA.

Ken

I’m standing in the middle of the Pathways to Housing PA (Pathways) common area, watching two men excitedly sharing stories, shaking hands and laughing. One is a Pathways participant who moments earlier was telling me how depressed and discouraged he was feeling. The other is my coworker, Ken Wilson, and there’s a reason his connection with this participant is so immediate and warm: he understands, in a way most of us never will, what the veteran in front of him has been through.

Pete posing with muscles

As you know, staying healthy, losing weight and getting enough exercise is one of life’s hardest challenges. Add to that a history of being homeless for 12 years, suffering from an undiagnosed, untreated mental illness, and staying healthy seems nearly impossible. But Pete Mollica refuses to let his past stop him from reaching his goals and bettering his life every day. We sat down to talk with Pete, now 52, about his new lifestyle.

joseph

To say that Joseph had a hard life would be an understatement. After living outside on the streets for 20 years, his struggles were many. Combine that with substance abuse challenges and having one of his legs amputated, he truly is a survivor. Despite hard times, he never gave up and, thanks to you, Joseph has a place to call home. After moving off the streets and into his apartment, we sat down to ask him about his journey.

 

Life Skills group with Mr. Lee.

Once homeless, Pathways participants are now learning life skills that could lead to jobs unthinkable 5 years ago.

It’s just another spring day in Philadelphia, but something historic is happening at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank. A group of five Pathways participants are hard at work assembling, loading and delivering furniture for families in need. For many formerly homeless participants, this would have been unimaginable 5 years ago. Now they are learning skills that could lead to future success and financial independence.

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