Pathways Community ActionSavanna enrolled in the PATHS Pilot Program last fall.  PATHS is a Pilot Program for youth ages 17-21 who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness and have been in the foster care system. The program is designed to provide supports in Permanent Connections, Academics, Training and Employment, Housing, and Social & Emotional Well-being to achieve self-sufficiency.  PATHS is funded by the Department of Children and Families and is operated as a collaboration between Rock County Human Services and Community Action, Inc. (CAI)

Savanna’s first experience with CAI was with Beloit Fresh Start. She enrolled in Fresh Start after missing three months of High School for medical reasons and fell behind.  Savannah wanted to graduate and enrolled in Fresh Start because it provided an opportunity to earn a High School Diploma.  Savannah was a star pupil in Fresh Start and received training as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) while enrolled in Fresh Start.

Savanna lost her job and was at imminent risk of homelessness due to an eviction notice from her landlord. With her previous connection to and positive experiences with Community Action, Savanna came through our door asking for a hand up. It was determined that she was eligible for our new PATHS Pilot Program. Through the Housing First Model, PATHS staff immediately secured housing for her for the next 12 months. With stable housing, Savanna is now able to focus on her goals to reach self-sufficiency while Community Action continues to eliminate barriers that prevent her from her goals.  With career guidance and college enrollment support by PATHS, Savanna is now enrolled at Blackhawk Technical College and attending regularly.

Savanna wanted to take her State CNA certification exam to open doors to employment but did not have the money to pay for the exam. With the financial support and transportation provided by PATHS, Savanna took her CNA state certification exam in December and passed it with flying colors. Because Savanna did not have access to reliable transportation, PATHS staff drove Savanna to apply for CNA positions at local nursing homes. Within one week, Savanna was hired as a full time CNA, making $10.10 per hour.  Her next goal is to secure reliable transportation so that she can maintain employment.  Savanna is also planning to continue her education once she completes her studies at Blackhawk Technical College and pursue a nursing degree.