A Chaotic First Stop for Homeless Families

Posted on 06. May, 2010 by in IN THEIR OWN WORDS

By Dan Chung, Eleanor Miller, Hannah Rappleye, Alana Casanova-Burgess and Matt Robinson

The Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing Office (PATH) in the Bronx is on a quiet block in the South Bronx, across the street from an elementary school and surrounded by apartment buildings and small homes. The PATH center is the first stop for all New York City adults (single or in families) who are pregnant or have children under the age of 21 and are homeless. Because it’s the only center of its kind in the city, and is a required stop before families receive a shelter placement, the center is a hub of activity.

Open 24 hours a day, PATH draws a steady stream of visitors and its entrance, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence, is monitored by uniformed guards. The center is a familiar sight to many of those in the city’s shelter and temporary housing system. Some PATH clients are frequent visitors and spoke of the frustration being sent through security screenings, being shuttled to different waiting areas, stacks of paperwork to fill out, and hours of waiting to be processed.

Click below to hear some of the PATH center’s clients and their experiences of being homeless in New York City, and also see this post.

Cathy, a mother who currently stays at the Fox House Shelter, describes her impression of the PATH center:

A 23-year-old mother who was kicked out of her house shares the challenges she faces in finding a place for her and her child:

Ronnie Everett, 21, is frustrated with the shelter system. Everett, his two children, and his girlfriend, who is pregnant with twins, struggle to find stability:

A 21-year-old single mother tries her best to make a life for her child:

Michele from the Bronx has trouble explaining being homeless to her three children, ages 5, 3 and 1.

“Do we have to go to the shelter Mommy?”


In Their Own Words

Related Stories:
Higher Learning While Homeless

From Addiction to Homelessness to College: One Student’s Path



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