It Takes a Community
Read an inspirational story from Pioneer’s Pathway House residential housing manager, James Noriega, about two current residents who are succeeding in their path to recovery with the help of the community. Pathway House provides supportive housing services for people in recovery by an onsite case manager. Each resident is offered an assessment from which an individual services plan (ISP) is created. The ISP helps to identify goals that the case manager can then support during tenancy.
“I am a housing manager for Pioneer Human Services at the Pathway House in Spokane. Part of my job is to build a network of care outside of our program so that our tenants can access the best resources in Spokane community and have an opportunity to improve their life in the community and build healthy relationships. Following is an example of what this community effort looks like.
"We currently house two individuals who were two of the highest emergency room utilizers in Spokane. These two gentlemen had been trapped in their alcohol addiction for decades. They used the local emergency system to meet their health, social, and sometimes housing needs and unfortunately burned a lot of bridges. Both of them ended up in local emergency rooms more than one hundred times each in one year.
"It was clear that they needed a community to help and rehabilitate them. So the Pathway House, together with the Spokane Downtown Community Court, Better Health Together, Consistent Care, and members of the local fire and police departments joined forces to close the gaps so that these two men could get the best help the Spokane community had to offer. With the help of this collaborative group, they are now thriving in Pioneer’s Pathway House and the neighboring community.
"We are VERY proud to report that both of these men have not used the emergency room system in over six months, saving Spokane tens of thousands of dollars. Both men are flourishing from the care they are receiving and now want to give back. They have received the help necessary to strengthen their life skills while living inside the Pathway House from many resources and they are participating in a healthy way in the community. Currently, both men are active in their recovery and reach out to help other people trapped in substance use disorders. One of the men is planning on training as a peer counselor and also wants to volunteer at Community Court weekly.
"Pathway House’s relationship with the Spokane Community Court is extremely valuable. The Court is very unique in that it looks for resources for their defendants and aims to rehabilitate rather than incarcerate. In addition, a collaborative group consisting of our Spokane partner organizations mentioned previously, meet twice per month to discuss local individuals who are high-utilizers of the emergency system and need the most help in our city. The Pathway House is a part of the collaborative group in that it provides supportive housing. In return, the collaborative group provides support to the Pathway House with generous amounts of case management, medical, and sometimes legal help.
"Another reason we built a network with other care providers is that it helps all of our tenants, not only those who struggle with substance use disorders, to access more resources that promote rehabilitation. The story of our two residents who are in recovery illustrates how effective networking can be in extremely tough cases. What the collaborative partnership has learned from their stories can be applied in many cases. Pioneer knows that we cannot help our tenants in isolation. It takes community connection to restore and rehabilitate."