Pathways' Doors Will Stay Open

By Steph Machado

Published 05/05 2014 07:10PM

Updated 05/05 2014 07:17PM

BURLINGTON - Good news for a local non-profit: Pathways Vermont is going to stay open.

The organization has been given a designation as a "Special Services Agency."

The group gives housing to former inmates and other homeless people. They often take in people the HowardCenter and COTS turn away.

The group's federal grant is set to run out in October 2014. They sought help from the legislature in February, but no legislation was forthcoming.

The solution was a special designation from the Commissioner of Mental Health that will allow them to bill Medicaid for their services, which include mental health and other treatments. The group's philosophy is "Housing First," which means they pay the rent for inmates getting out of prison, going on the concept that you need a place to sleep before you can recover.

Hilary Melton, executive director of Pathways, says this will be a long-term solution to keep the doors open.

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