The new executive director of New Pathways is ready to take over the helm and continue the core of services provided by the nonprofit organization.
Pamela Streed, a graduate of Cambridge High School, began in her position in mid-April. Streed was familiar with New Pathways before beginning in her new position, as she served for a year as a volunteer on the organization’s site committee.
Prior to joining New Pathways, Streed worked as an employment specialist who managed the dislocated worker and adult programs for a local agency serving Isanti County, and prior to that she worked in the private sector.
“I’m excited to be back living in the Cambridge area,” Streed said. “I’ve always been interested in the work that New Pathways does, and I love the fact the organization is so entrenched in the community. This organization is all about doing the best it can for the people it serves.”
New Pathways serves homeless adults with children by providing case management and skills training at the organization’s Day Center located in Cambridge, and then sleeping accommodations through partnerships with many area churches.
While at the Day Center, the families work on a plan to get back into a home of their own and are provided telephones, computers with internet access, laundry facilities, personal care items, shower room, transportation and advocacy.
“New Pathways really has close-knit cooperation within the community,” Streed said. “It’s really important that New Pathways is centered right here, within the downtown community. The fact the organization is so centered right here in the community was a big reason why I decided to begin volunteering with the organization.”
Streed said everyone at New Pathways has been very welcoming.
“It is very evident that the people here at New Pathways are very warm and passionate people, and their hearts are in the right place,” Streed said. “That really makes a huge difference in the work that we do. Everyone here really does care about what they do, and I’m excited to be a part of this organization.”
Streed gives much credit to the founders of New Pathways, Cheryl Gray and her mother, Marge Burns.
“I would like to thank Cheryl and Marge for setting up this organization and for all their leadership,” Streed said. “Without them, New Pathways would not be here. I will do my best to continue on with their mission.”
While Streed has only been on the job for about a month, she is concerned New Pathways continues to have to turn families away due to the program being at capacity.
Since its inception in 2000, New Pathways has served 563 families, encompassing 732 adults and 1,038 children, and turned away 818 families due to the program being full.
The average family size in the New Pathways program is three people, with an average length of stay of 65 days. Eighty-seven percent of the families leave New Pathways and find permanent housing.
“We need to begin to look at ways to serve more of the people who have the greatest needs,” Streed said. “We need to continue to watch what is happening with federal and state nonprofit funding, and continue to remind our decision makers that the work we are doing in Cambridge is needed and important.”
Part of New Pathways’ budget is fundraising. The organization is asking the public to participate in its current fundraiser, a matching gift challenge. Throughout the month of May, for every $1 donated to New Pathways, the Shalom Thrift Shop in Cambridge will match that donation up to $5,000. If $5,000 is raised through donations, New Pathways will receive $10,000 toward the operation of its shelter program in Cambridge.
To donate online, visit givemn.org, search New Pathways and click on the Matching Gift Challenge 2017. A direct link can also be found on the New Pathways website, www.newpathwaysmn.com. Checks can be mailed to or dropped off at New Pathways, 310 S. Ashland St., Cambridge, MN 55008. All donations are tax deductible.
“We would like to thank everyone who has participated in our matching fund fundraiser this month and also remind the community there is still time to donate if you haven’t done so already,” Streed said. “We appreciate everyone’s support of New Pathways.”
Streed is also thankful for the generosity of the area churches who partner with New Pathways to provide sleeping arrangements for the families.
“I’m beginning to meet with some of the churches to thank them for their support and to find out if we could be doing anything to support them better,” Streed said. “All of the volunteers we have at New Pathways, including our church volunteers, are just amazing, and we could not do this without them.”
For more information on New Pathways, visit www.newpathwaysmn.com or call 763-691-0121.