Santa Barbara, CA —- PathPoint, a local nonprofit organization, is combining and moving its South Santa Barbara County programs downtown to 902 Laguna Street in early 2013. Founded in 1964, PathPoint has provided employment, community access, and residential services to people with disabilities and disadvantages for more than 45 years.
PathPoint started considering a new location ample enough to combine its employment, community access, and residential services in one location, while moving closer to increased opportunities in downtown Santa Barbara. Currently, PathPoint has two program centers in the Santa Barbara area, the division headquarters on Aero Camino in Goleta, and the Community Access Program on De La Vina Street. The typical challenges for nonprofits are managing limited resources, keeping costs low, and achieving long-term rent stabilization. When 902 Laguna Street, formerly home to the Tri-Counties Blood Bank, became available, PathPoint decided to purchase the property. PathPoint’s cost-conscious Board of Directors oversaw the process. Finding an affordable downtown property with plentiful parking and a suitable floor plan was a significant challenge, and PathPoint CEO/President Cindy Burton and CFO Patty Enger valued the expertise of Dan Moll of Hayes Commercial Group in the transaction. In the slow economic recovery, this cost-effective purchase will save the organization dollars, with a mortgage less expensive than the previous rent. The savings will be redirected to programs.
The new PathPoint center is 8,980 square feet. It has ample parking for cars and buses. It is being renovated to be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. The new location has excellent bus transportation for participants, is less remote, and is more accessible to community resources.
The facility will house multiple programs for people with cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities (formerly known as mental retardation), and other disabilities. Employment services assist individuals like Sam, a participant with Fragile X Syndrome. He loves his job as part of the Integrated Work Program (IWK) which makes the community more accessible to him. He likes riding in the PathPoInt van to work, learning new skills on the landscaping crew, and making new friends at his work site. Another participant, Elizabeth, is non-ambulatory and has multiple disabilities; as a result of the Community Access Program she is able to get out, be creative, and express herself in ways she never was able to do before.
Santa Barbara County VP/Division Director Alana Walczak is enthusiastic about the new location asserting, “We’re really looking forward to getting in there and providing more services to the public and the community,” The grand opening of the new combined PathPoint offices and program centers is set for early 2013. PathPoint also has a Mental Health Division Office, located at 402 E. Carrillo, which will remain in its downtown location.
PathPoint partners with more than 176 local community businesses, agencies, and organizations in the area to provide employment opportunities, residential programs, and community access programs for its program participants with disabilities. PathPoint’s South Santa Barbara County Division was recently awarded the “Goleta’s Finest Nonprofit of the Year” award conferred by the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. Alana Walczak recommended that other employers and interested members of the community who are interested in employment, residential, and community access services are welcome to call the PathPoint office for information.
In 2011-2012, PathPoint served 809 individuals with a myriad of disabilities or disadvantages in Santa Barbara County. In the most recent year, PathPoint served more than 2,400 people in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Kern, and Ventura counties.
To participate or to receive more information, please call Alana Walczak at 805.961.9200 x1133. To learn more about PathPoint or to make a donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pathpoint.org.