Community Spotlight: PATH

PATH, a local organization dedicated to ending homelessness and bringing our unhoused neighbors home.

Far more than a workplace, CANOPY is a sustainable, creative community where members gather to share experiences, make connections, and build their networks. We’re also committed to giving back to the wider communities where we live and work, especially those in less fortunate circumstances.

During the festive season, the CANOPY team and our Members hosted food and toy drives and a games night to support our neighbors at People Assisting The Homeless (PATH), an organization founded in 1983 that offers street outreach, interim and permanent housing or shelter, and connections to housing and wraparound support services at affordable housing sites in five California counties, including Santa Clara.

Today’s Journal is dedicated to PATH, our unhoused neighbors in the South Bay, and their vision for a world where every person has a home.

“The regions that we serve are some of the most expensive regions to live in in the state of California. It’s clear that the increased cost of living and cost of housing drives homelessness in the regions that we serve.” Tyler Renner, Senior Director of Communications, PATH

“There’s a stereotype that being unhoused is a choice, but it’s not. Many of our clients were in tech and laid off, or have experienced a medical emergency that spiraled real fast. Anybody could be vulnerable to experiencing homelessness.” – Jesse Gomez, Associate Director of Community Affairs & Philanthropy, PATH

Festive Recap: THANK YOU for supporting PATH in 2023!

November: Warmth and Wellness Drive

During our month-long annual Food Drive, Members, guests, and staff at all CANOPY locations donated non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, pasta, rice, cereal, plus warm clothes and toiletries. CANOPY also matched all monetary donations received. Our contributions helped stock residents’ cupboards at PATH locations in Santa Clara County:

  • Vela Apartments and scattered-site housing where PATH provides services.
  • Evans Lane interim housing community, which opened in 2021 and shelters up to 48 families.
  • Villas on the Park, PATH Santa Clara County’s first permanent apartment community comprising 83 supportive homes.
  • Villas on 4th Street, a newly opened building offering 94 permanent supportive homes (PSH) for seniors—one of the largest growing demographics experiencing homelessness.

Meet Patti

Ms. Patti, as she is known, is one of the newest residents at Villas on 4th Street and has really made herself at home, participating in holiday meals, game nights, and other onsite community festivities. Thanks to food drive donations, she’s able to cook delicious meals she shares with her neighbors. You can learn more about Patti and the sense of community she has built in her new home in this ABC 7 Bay Area segment, where she shares her story.

Patti sitting on a recliner

November 13: Games Night

On November 13, CANOPY Community Manager Lani Kava and Jessica Kearney, VP of Operations, cohosted a games night with CANOPY Members for PATH clients at Villas on the Park, sharing pizza, hot cocoa, pumpkin pie, and other holiday desserts.

“We love to spend quality time with the community that we’re supporting. It was such fun to play bingo and other icebreakers—Lani and I quickly discovered we need to up our game!—and we also donated gift certificates to Target and a local grocery store as prizes. We shared a lovely evening, and everyone went home with a little something ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.” – Jessica Kearney

Evans Lane
Evans Lane where PATH can shelter up to 48 families

December: Holiday Toy Drive

Before the festive break, we organized a Toy Drive for underprivileged children making it home with their families through PATH’s programs. Fifty-five toys were donated by CANOPY Members and staff who purchased gifts online and in-store that we knew a child would love or signed up to fulfill a child’s wish. Jamai and Lili, girls in third and fifth grade, respectively, got to cuddle a Squishmallow in the security of a home. Toddler Jr. received Hot Wheels; Amira, also a toddler, was gifted Leap Frog Learning words. Children who wished for a Barbie or simply for drawing materials or a ball had the thrill of unwrapping their own special gift—for many, the only one they received that year.

“All of the kids that received gifts from CANOPY were at Evan’s Lane. A lot of the parents told me that these gifts made up for all the years that they couldn’t afford anything for Christmas,” says Jesse. “I’m trying not to get emotional, but it’s a beautiful thing. Those little acts of kindness go a long, long way for these families.”

 

Rose and Rosie

Meet Rose and Rosie

Rose was unhoused for over five years. When she had her daughter, Rosie, she knew she had to get support. She connected with PATH’s outreach team near the Guadalupe River and eventually moved into Evans Lane interim housing site for families. There, Rosie—who loves unicorns and anything pink—was able to find stability and enjoyed receiving new generously donated toys. Rose and Rosie recently moved into their own apartment in San José, and Rosie is happy to have a room to herself that is now filled with toys!

How to continue to support PATH

PATH invites you to get in touch to learn more about the organization and its initiatives, which include blanket and jacket drives, summer barbecues, holiday meals, and cooking classes—working with Second Harvest Food Bank, PATH hosts regular community events to bring residents together and help ensure residents can cook tasty, nourishing dishes on a limited budget.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with PATH

We would also like to invite you to attend its next event: a spaghetti Valentine’s Day dinner and games night at its Villas on 4th Street location on February 13. PATH has up to eight spots for volunteers. Bring your appetite, sparkling wit, and competitive spirit!

  • Date and Time: February 13, 4 pm to 6 pm
  • Address: 1030 N 4th Street, San Jose
  • How to attend: please contact Jesse Gomez, Associate Director of Community Affairs & Philanthropy, to express interest in volunteering at JesseGomez@epath.org.

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Making It Home

1983 When PATH was founded 
Since 2013, PATH has connected more than 9,000 people to permanent homes.
SANTA CLARA PATH by the numbers 
2015 When PATH Santa Clara began serving our unhoused neighbors
1,036 People served in 2022
193 Individuals housed in 2022 
425 People housed since 2015 
All photos, courtesy of PATH