"I was staying at friend's houses, as many friends as I could, and I ended up with no where to stay at one point of time. That's when I ended up at McDonalds, and it was really cold outside, and I called Children's Haven," states Anthony Hutchens, P.A.T.H. Tenant.
The first P.A.T.H. apartments were built in 2010 with 8 units. The new $650,000 complex doubles the amount of apartments to 16. Ozark Center, The Missouri Department of Mental Health and The Missouri Housing Development cooperation funded the project. Organizers say they look forward to watching the youth make a positive change in their lives.
"They learn what it's like to be an adult and independent," states Vicky Mieseler, Ozark Center VP of Clinical Services. P.A.T.H. coordinators aid in personal finance assistance, interpersonal skills, and mental health services.
"I've learned how to budget my money a lot better and I've learned how to be more organized about things," states Nayelle Ortiz, P.A.T.H. Tenant.
Tenets say the P.A.T.H. employees have made a positive influence on their lives.
"They gave me a place to stay and gave me the encouragement I needed to get a job, fill out my P.A.T.H. application and try to get these apartments and become just better in my life so, I can still go to school and have more support to graduate high school like I want to do," says Hutchens.
P.A.T.H. requires each tenant to contribute a small percentage of income to pay for rent and to save money to support independent living goals. They also have to participate in program activities, go back to school, seek employment, or take part in community service