Responding to the need of area families
Pocono Area Transitional Housing, Inc. was established in 1989 through the efforts of Church Women United of Monroe County, the Stroudsburg Area Council of Churches, and the Monroe County Clergy Association, county human service agencies and local businesses.
Responding to the scarcity of decent, affordable housing in Monroe County, representatives of church, civic, and government groups began meeting in March of 1988 to address the problem. It was determined that there was a great need for a program to help families with children in housing crisis and a transitional housing program would be appropriate. In 1989, a Board of Directors was elected and PATH was formally incorporated as a Pennsylvania not-for-profit corporation. Policies and procedures were set in place with guidance from New Bethany Ministries of Bethlehem. Staff was hired and PATH opened its doors to its first resident family in June of 1990.
The former parsonage of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stroudsburg at 7 N. 9th Street was offered as a site to begin the program. Moderate rehabilitation of the house was begun in the winter of 1989, utilizing donated labor and materials from Monroe County Homebuilders and several area businesses. Funding was provided by St. John’s Lutheran Church, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) funds through the United Way of Monroe County, and private donations. Each of the ten rooms in the house was “adopted” by a local church group or individual who provided the painting and decorating. In May of 1990 the house was dedicated and named the PATH-Henning House in honor of the family who, through generous financial and volunteer gifts, made it possible. The first family moved into the program in June of 1990.
In November of 1992, East Stroudsburg Savings Association (ESSA) gave PATH $150,000 to purchase a second PATH home. In September of 1993, after months of searching, a brick double house at 120 Park Avenue was purchased. The interior of the building was renovated to fit the needs of the program and to bring the building up to code. Board members, church groups, local businesses and individuals came together again providing volunteer labor, and supplies to complete the PATH-ESSA house. A dedication and open house was held in October 1994 and the first family moved in, in November.
At the same time, Farmers Home Administration (currently known as Rural Development) offered to lease a single-family house in the Mt. Pocono area to PATH for $1 per year for 10 years. The house had been broken into and trashed, but volunteer laborers from Habitat for Humanity, Mt. Pocono Methodist Church, and friends of PATH completely renovated the house. A PATH family moved into the house in January of 1995. The building was used for seven years before being returned to Rural Development.
In 2007, PATH undertook a capital project to expand and renovate the Park Avenue facility. In addition to doubling the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the new construction provides meeting rooms and accessibility features.
PATH now has the capacity to accommodate up to thirteen families at one time.