People’s Path Inc. was founded in 2014 by Gillian Charleau to help aid in the fight against homelessness. Our goal is to teach homeless individuals how to become self-sufficient. With the help of financial support, we put people on the right path so they can find long term and permanent living situations.
In the mid-1980s, Gillian, an immigrant from Trinidad, experienced long-term homelessness during the first years in the US because she lost contact with her family. At the age of 13, she began sleeping on friends’ couches and continued doing so until the age of 16, when she became pregnant. When she found out she was pregnant, Gillian entered a group home for pregnant teens.
She and her young son eventually entered the New York City shelter system, where they remained until Gillian received government support for her own apartment. The apartment, the first she had known in more than three years, was the foundation she needed to build a better life for herself and her son. Gillian received her GED and attended the College of Staten Island, where she completed her BA in Psychology.
Gillian Charleau has worked in the shelter system for more than 20 years, interacting with people who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. During this time, Gillian witnessed HIV-affected residents struggling to secure appropriate services, often as part of a seemingly endless cycle of leaving and reentering the shelter system. Gillian was significantly affected by what he witnessed, but at the time, was not in a position to help.
These profound experiences led Gillian to invest all of their savings into creating a safe and stable housing facility for homeless individuals. The driving force for People’s Path Inc. is Gillian first-hand experience working with the homeless.
People's Path, Inc.’s mission in the current location of Staten Island is to provide up to 28 beds for single men and women of service-enriched supportive housing. The programmatic emphasis in the People's Path's Safe Haven Residence will be to help residents maintain improved physical and emotional health so they may reach their maximum individual potential. We accomplish this by providing intensive case management and other social services as needed to assist clients to maximize the quality of their lives after they have lived in abusive relationships or on the street under adverse circumstances. Our services also assist all eligible clients to achieve the skills and financial independence required for independent living, enhancing self-reliance and life skills through referrals to employment programs for training and job placement in the private sector.
Increasing clients’ functional capacity helps reduce morbidity and mortality by linking clients to health, mental health, and/or substance-abuse treatment services and monitoring-treatment adherence/compliance. Services are designed to counteract the detrimental effects of homelessness while offering shelter within a residential safe haven where residents are encouraged to create a healthy community and become more productive members of society. People's Path, Inc. uses specific, structured interventions to assist individuals in developing skills and achieving a higher level of independence, while monitoring their re-entry into a safe, clean, and pleasant residential environment. In addition to receiving supportive services provided on site, clients are referred to local medical, mental health, and substance-abuse services as needed.