by Linda Brinker
All four USA territories are participating in a new three-year Pathway of Hope (POH) initiative funded by the national office. The grant, titled Pathway of Hope Renewal, is designed to expand family engagement in major cities across the country including Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and St. Louis.
In part, the new focus is in response to the third-party evaluation completed by RTI, an independent nonprofit research institute, at the completion of the initial national grant which included identification of gaps in implementation in the major cities and challenges related to limited staff availability to provide POH service.
Services with this new opportunity are focused on BIPOC families (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) that meet low-income requirements. The major portion of the funding is allocated to support two case managers for each of the five Central Territory cities and requires a 100 percent focus on POH.
To expedite the local engagement process, the national office is providing the funding allocations at the beginning of each year. In turn, the funding is being sent directly to divisions and local sites for timely hiring and onboarding of new staff. Central Territorial Headquarters is completing a three-day comprehensive training for the new teams to educate them fully on POH concepts including unique grant requirements.
The Central Territory is excited to be involved in the establishment of the new POH-R grant as it is anticipated to have a strong impact on underserved communities in urban areas and lead to the establishment of best-practice models for other cities to replicate. This opportunity also provides another great avenue to partner with the national office and other USA territories as we continue to evaluate the impact of services and lessons learned.