Pioneer’s Pathway House Cooks Up Success

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So many people have limited cooking skills so James Noriega, housing case manager at Pioneer Pathway House in Spokane, created a cooking program and partnered with Mosaic Fellowship, a local church.  Mosaic and James came up with eight different crock-pot recipes that had six ingredients or less. Mosaic Fellowship also generously donated a total of 40 crock pots for the cooking course.

Church volunteers, together with James, prepared the various crockpot recipes ahead of time so the food would be ready to eat in the class, and they prepared one recipe in front of the attendees to demonstrate the ease of crock pot cooking. They were able to show how good crock pot cooking can taste with minimal ingredients.

Crock-pot cooking preserves the nutrients in the pot by steam cooking the ingredients. It can provide very tasty and low budget meals, and they preserve well,” said James Noriega.

The class was a success and the remainder of the time was spent eating the prepared meals. Many residents who don’t normally interact with each other were conversing and sharing cooking tips.

Noriega added, “The class created a sense of community with the tenants and offered education on healthy and inexpensive cooking. We saw many residents visiting with each other who had never spoken before. Many new friendships were formed.”

The best part was that all Pathway House attendees walked away with eight delicious recipes and their very own crockpot. James gave away 20 crock-pots the day of the first class, and he has had additional classes where more crock pots have been distributed.

Pathway House continues the cooking events by having potluck dinners where residents bring down a prepared meal in their own crock-pot. This has helped to continue the communal spirit in the program and foster neighborly friendships among residents. Staff has noticed that residents are also starting to invite each other over for dinner using their crock-pots and sharing recipes.

At Pathway House, James works with tenants on their individual service plan (ISP). The program provides supportive housing services to all residents by an onsite case manager. Each resident is offered an assessment from which an ISP is created and goals are identified that the case manager will support during tenancy. Life skills classes such as menu planning, grocery shopping on a limited budget, laundry basics, and conflict resolution are offered weekly.

Pioneer is very grateful to the Mosaic Fellowship Church for donating the crockpots and volunteering their time at Pathway. Mosaic continues to be a great partner to Pioneer, funding and sponsoring community meals and parties for the residents. They have formed a healthy partnership in the neighborhood beyond their Sunday services and Pioneer looks forward to continuing to work together with them in the future.

Thursday, March 3, 2016