Center Street Board Project2021-07-23T11:43:48-04:00

Board of Directors Project

Goal: to support the transition of PATH’s Center St. Building to Family Emergency Shelter

Click Here to view the Full Board Project Write-Up
Click Here to Donate

PATH Program History

PATH (Pontiac Area Transitional Housing) is a transitional housing program for women and children devoted to eliminating homelessness. PATH opened in 1991 at 130 Center Street in Pontiac as an empowerment program. The Center St. building contains 18 apartment units and, along with nearby PATH houses, PATH is able to serve about 150 women and children per year or 36 families at a time. Mothers, who live in their own fully furnished apartment for up to two years, pay 30% of their income towards their rent, while they work toward achieving their goals. The program features education and employment support, life skills programs, counseling programs, and children’s services to foster the development of self-esteem, self-sufficiency, and economic independence in homeless women and their children.

Success Story

“Joy” was a young mother of two children, both under the age of three, fleeing an abusive husband. She faced many challenges, including minimum support (she was from another country), a language barrier, limited marketable employment skills, and even basic household management skills. She also experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, because Joy had the support and encouragement of Lighthouse case managers, as well as links to community resources and referrals that were specific to her needs, she was able to transition out of the PATH program into safe, stable, and permanent housing with tools in place to help her maintain it. While in the program Joy acquired basic budgeting and money management skills in addition to securing a driver’s license and a vehicle of her own. She joined a local Church which widened her circle of support and was successfully enrolled in a certified nurse’s assistant vocational program while working part time at the local grocery store.

Changes Ahead

Historically, PATH offered a variety of residential settings all on a single campus in Pontiac, however, this meant that all program graduates had to secure housing upon leaving and possibly move to a different city. This new scattered-site transitional housing model will allow clients to live where they want. The program will assist in getting families a lease in the city of their choosing, so when they graduate, they do not have to move again. Lighthouse will still continue all of its support programs to PATH clients.
There is a huge need for additional emergency shelter beds in Oakland County. Lighthouse receives hundreds of calls each week for shelter spots and is unable to fit everyone, even with quadrupling our shelter capacity during the pandemic. By repurposing the locations on Center Street, we will be able to provide more emergency shelter beds for families and give them the privacy and short-term home their family deserves.
Currently, Lighthouse’s PATH program is the only program in Oakland County dedicated to women and children experiencing homelessness and Lighthouse’s existing emergency shelter program is the only shelter serving whole families in need.

Board Project Overview
As Lighthouse transitions the Center St. building into a family emergency shelter, there are many projects that need funding and assistance. We anticipate renovation costs to be $153,400. We expect a $40,000 contribution from Carl’s Foundation, leaving a funding gap of $113,400. We anticipate that all families from PATH will move out of Center Street and into their new living arrangement by January 2022. During this transition period all former PATH apartments will be renovated and converted into family emergency shelter units. After the renovations are completed the family shelter clients will occupy all 18 apartments.

There are many ways the Board of Directors can get involved in this project:

Lighthouse staff can help you spread the word, educate others on the need, and get friends, family, or colleagues involved in the project
You can reach out to any association you work for or have a relationship with to provide additional funding to this project in addition to your personal giving and volunteer support.

There are a lot of materials and labor needed and any partnerships or in-kind support that may help reduce or eliminate costs would be beneficial to the project.

There are four main projects that are in need of volunteers
Remodel PATH Laundry Room – new floors, doors, window treatments, and painting
Painting apartments and rooms in duplex and houses
Tearing out old carpet
Installing new flooring

Donating Goods
Each new shelter apartment will be in need of household items for a family of eight, including dishes, silverware, cups, pots/pans, baking sheets, cooking utensils, can opener, coffee pot, microwave, toaster, dish towels, dish cloths, dish rack, kitchen and bathroom garbage cans, shower liner and curtain, bath towels, wash cloths, hand towels, toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, razors), pillows, bed in a bag, broom, vacuum, cleaning supplies, and more. Only new items can be donated.
To supply these items at a reasonable cost, Lighthouse is offering Interior Decorating Sponsorship opportunities for $600 for homes and $500 for apartments to purchase every needed item for each unit.

Sponsorship Opportunities
There are numerous sponsorship opportunities below. We would love to work with you on a level that interests you. Please note, we would include these as first dollars given for our upcoming Capacity Campaign and have a goal to get 100% Board participation.

$10,000 and over – Housing Humanitarian
Name or Logo included on an acknowledgement plaque at the Center Street Building
Lighthouse Award that can be displayed in your office or home
One social media post acknowledging gift
Inclusion in media releases related to the project
Inclusion in blog post on

$5,000 – Community Champion
Name included on an acknowledgement plaque at the Center Street Building
One social media post acknowledging all Community Champion sponsors
Inclusion in media releases related to the project
Inclusion in blog post on

$2,500 – Future Builder
One social media post acknowledging all Future Builder sponsors
Inclusion in blog post on

$1,000 – Emergency Shelter Friend
Inclusion in blog post on

$500-600 – Interior Decorations & Supplies Sponsor
Inclusion in blog post on

Please note: all acknowledgement will occur once the project is announced publicly.

How to Get Involved

All donations for this project will be tracked on HandUp.

We are utilizing HandUp so you can form your own individual fundraisers to share with family and friends! To start your own fundraiser, visit the HandUp page and click on “Start Fundraiser” on the right-hand side of the page. When you create your fundraiser, you can set your own goals. If you have used HandUp before, you will need to log in. You can reset your password if you do not remember it.

Ways to Give

You can donate directly on the HandUp website to have your donation automatically added to the campaign total. If you need any assistance with donating on HandUp, please let Andrea ( or Emily ( know. You can also give us a call at 248-920-6000 x2212.

You can mail in a check – please include ‘Board Project’ in the notes.
Mail to:
46156 Woodward Ave
Pontiac, MI 48342

You can give us a call at 248-920-6000 x2212 to process a credit card donation over the phone.

Click here to donate on HandUp!