Partnership Assistance to the Homeless

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Partnership Assistance to the Homeless (PATH) was a program founded in 1985 to support and assist homeless women and children in Birmingham. It was formally incorporated in 1988 with Elise Penfield as executive director.

PATH was founded by Greater Birmingham Ministries with support from the St Mary's Guild at the Cathedral Church of the Advent. The group opened a day shelter, the PATH Center for Women and Children, to furnish food, clean clothes, showers and laundry facilities to women living on the streets. The program, based at 607 21st Street North, soon also offered counseling, referrals for public benefits, job training and job placement. Later the organization developed a transitional housing program with two four-unit apartment buildings. The purchase and renovation of those facilities was supported by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grants administered by the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District.

In 1988 PATH employed six staff members and more than 150 volunteers, and served more than 860 individuals, including 34 families in transitional housing. The organization merged with a similar group, Bread & Roses, in 2003 to form Pathways of Birmingham.


  • "Partnership Assistance to the Homeless" (July 19, 1990) "Oversight and Reauthorization of McKinney Act Programs." Hearing Before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, 101st Congress, 2nd session, pp. 298–299