Enquirer Herald

PATH facing unprecedented need

He was living in a tent after he lost his job, his girlfriend, his prescription medication and his home. So he recently came to PATH in need of help, soaking wet from the rain.

Director Cheri Curtin and the center’s team of volunteers helped the man get a new prescription, food, a voucher for dry clothing and a temporary motel room. They told him to use the phone that night to reach out for help.

“When he left here, he said, ‘You’ll never know what this means to me,’” Curtin said. And the man is doing better. He has found work as a day laborer, and comes in only rarely to get supplemental food, she said.

Curtin and the volunteers at PATH — an emergency assistance agency that has served the York community since 1982 — are used to seeing people in crisis. But these days, she said, they’re seeing more people than ever who have never been in crisis before.

The agency on York’s Raille Street — which typically sees three to five new clients each week who need food or emergency assistance — now is gaining three to five new clients each day. The agency usually helps about 40 to 50 people each day it’s open, she said. Meanwhile. donations are down. The agency ran out of money to help with utilities and emergency shelter earlier this month.

What the agency needs now, Curtin said, is both food and monetary donations to enable it to continue its mission until community donations pick up around the first December.

“We’re on the front line. PATH is where the rubber meets the road,” Curtain about the agency’s mission. “The way I look at it is, we’re pulling them back in so they can stay on their feet for one more month.”

For more information, see Thursday's Enquirer-Herald

[factbox]Want to help?PATH needs monetary donations to help with housing, essential utilities and prescription medications. It also needs nonperishable food and household items, especially certain items. They include canned meats and stews, dry milk, laundry and dish detergent, flour, sugar, peanut butter, rice, cereal, macaroni, oatmeal, cooking oil and all baby products.

The agency also can use driving team volunteers to pick up food donations from the Lake Wylie Food Lion each week on Friday mornings, and to shop and pick up food from Second Harvest Food Bank in Charlotte on the first Friday of each month. Volunteers need a large vehicle, such as a van or pickup truck, and pay for their own gasoline.

PATH — at 204 Raille St., in downtown York, behind the Western York County YMCA — is a non-profit charity and all donations are tax-deductible. Checks can be made out and sent to PATH, P.O. Box 52, York, SC 29745.