OP Annual Report 2014: Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds, Cultivating Opportunities, Transforming Lives

Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report

Operation Pathways: Measurable Results

3,400 individuals served 19 community centers 173 partner organizations 9,298 volunteer hours $189,075 worth of in-kind donations 15,000 hours of computer/internet availability

374  children served in ten Brighten Up afterschool program sites, resulting in the majority raising their math and reading scores by at least one grade level 242  children participated in ten Brighten Up summer camps, with more than 90% showing no sign of summer learning loss 221 participants in workforce development programs 889 participants in financial education programs 14 health fairs 30,091 hours of physical fitness programing

Our Success is Supported by Numbers

2014 WAS A VERY SUCCESSFUL YEAR for Operation Pathways, the heart and soul of building community.

Operation Pathways’ extensive and enriching programs and services offer participants an improved quality of life through education, community, encouragement, and a sense of belonging. The scope and impact of Operation Pathways is a great source of pride for Ken White, who directs Operation Pathways, the dedicated professional staff, our committed volunteers and supporters, the families and seniors we serve across ten states, and my colleagues. I am filled with confidence and excitement in the next year of Operation Pathways as I review our successes in 2014 and read Ken’s recount of this incredibly noteworthy year.

We not only serve the residents of our properties, but also include people in the surrounding communities, thereby enriching whole neighborhoods.

For me, the metrics found on the inside front cover of this annual report supplement the amazing interpersonal relationships. We are confident these numbers will continue to increase as residents share their positive experiences and measurable results with their friends and neighbors. We continue to work hard to make Operation Pathways a model for the affordable housing sector, and look forward to sharing further accomplishments and success stories.

Richard F. Burns President & CEO


Operation Pathways provides and coordinates place-based programs and services to residents in affordable housing communities to increase quality of life.



Seeds of Opportunity

I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME that I heard the phrase: The seed never sees the flower . I was participating in a service learning experience in college, working with youth living in rural poverty. As I was providing volunteer support to social workers and other specialists, I struggled with wondering what kind of impact I, myself, was making. After all, most of my time with them was spent playing table tennis and shooting pool, supervising homework, and driving them from place-to-place in a 15-passenger van. In a group discussion with my service learning classmates, I was reminded that my presence and interactions with these young people could be planting seeds of positive youth development, and I may never know the impact that planting these seeds will have on the rest of their lives. The seed never sees the flower. Our Pathway to Financial Stability program has structured workshops, classes, and coaching sessions helping our residents raise their credit scores, manage their expenses, and increase their savings. Pathway to Healthy Living program has formal fitness classes, nutrition workshops, and health screenings making our residents more aware that living a healthier life has a positive effect on work, school, and happiness. Our Pathway to Academic Achievement program has daily activities for children and adults aimed at increasing success in school and gaining the knowledge and skills to further their career goals. Yet all of these structured, formal, daily activities are only useful to cultivate a seed that was previously planted. Operation Pathways’ resident services staff also plant seeds every day in the lives of our residents. It’s the first step toward self-sufficiency. Maybe it’s the gentle reminder to save part of a paycheck for the future when a resident comes in saying she’s so happy it’s payday. Or the resident who attends one nutrition class who learns about trans fats and how to find them on food labels in the grocery store. Or the child who suddenly understands her math lessons on ratios and proportions while preparing snacks in the afterschool program. It could be one of these moments that makes a resident start putting away $25.00 each month, or change his diet, or realize her love for learning. As you will see in our annual report, Operation Pathways had a great 2014 and we have many stories that prove that both our formal and our informal connections with our residents have produced many flowers. We thank you for your continued support of our work.

In gratitude, Kenneth D. White Vice President, Resident Services



Pathway to Academic Achievement

WHILE THE PROGRAMS OFFERED in this Pathway aim to increase knowledge and develop new skills, Operation Pathways believes that it is equally important to help promote a love for learning that will foster self-determination and help break the cycle of poverty. Our signature program, Brighten Up, reaches out to our school-age residents, giving them a multitude of learning and healthier living opportunities during out-of-school time. • At Foxwood Manor in Levittown, Pennsylvania, a $10,000 Foundations Community Partnership grant funded ten new computers and ten new tablets for the afterschool program. Most of the enrolled students do not have computers and internet access at home, so this 2014 grant makes it possible for them to complete homework assignments, and it creates new opportunities for afterschool learning as well. • In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, we forged a new partnership with Southern University and A&M College to support the Copper Ridge and Magnolia Trace communities. Through this partnership, interns developed new skills in nonprofit administration and management, fundraising, marketing, and social media skills while they supported the implementation of the Brighten Up program at these properties. • The Brighten Up afterschool program at Stone Ridge found a great way to show how important a healthy environment is for their community’s well-being. During “10 for Tuesdays,” children in this Arlington, Texas program walk around their community and each collects ten pieces of litter. In 2014, we enhanced the program to include taking photos of the natural beauty they saw while out on their walks. Seven of the students won cash prizes for their work in a photo contest sponsored by the Arlington Conservation Council.

“The afterschool program

has healthy snacks and very amazing homework helpers and

teachers. They want us to do good in school, and every snack they give us is healthy because they want us to be in great shape when we get older.”  JALEE, 6TH GRADE, BATON ROUGE, LA



Pathway to Financial Stability

THROUGH THIS PATHWAY, we provide programs and services that promote financial stability by teaching and encouraging practices that increase income, decrease expenses, and build assets. Financial education and workforce development programing allow residents to increase their financial security and better prepare for the future. • Foxwood Manor had another great year implementing its Bucks Back Tax Return Assistance Program through our partnership with the Bucks County Opportunity Council. Volunteers donated more than 1,500 hours to help prepare 460 federal and 444 state tax returns for the residents, saving them more than $45,000 in tax preparation fees and securing over $600,000 in credits and refunds for many of the taxpayers. • Our Pathway to Work Summer Internship program gave 12 teens their first job experience coupled with workshops in financial education and career exploration. Ten of twelve opened their first bank accounts and saved an average of 28% of their summer earnings by the end of the program. • Workforce development programing often integrates our adult education to help prepare our residents for new or expanded employment opportunities. At the Stone Ridge in Arlington, Texas a new partnership with the Arlington Independent School District brought an ESL course to the community. This course that helped increase English proficiency was very popular among residents. We look forward to following participants over the next year to see how their employability and earning power improves with these new skills. •  This year’s America Saves Week programing had an excellent response. Through this programing which promotes financial literacy and the importance of saving, 55 residents took the pledge to save and 27 opened savings accounts. For many, this programing spurred the participant’s first foray into savings and first saving account.

“The Pathway to Work Summer Internship Program gave me the confidence to dream big. I’m proud to say I now have a three-year scholarship and am headed to college . . . in Australia!”




Pathway to Healthy Living

MAKING HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES enhances the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of all individuals. These health and wellness programs take a holistic approach in promoting those choices. • The Operation Pathways Summer Camp had a real treat for this year’s campers from the Highlands and the Grove at Trinity Mills in Dallas, Texas. Chef Robinson came to cook five healthy dishes with them, stressing the importance of good nutrition and exercise. These new student chefs each received their own Culinary Arts and Nutrition Program Certificate and were encouraged to implement what they learned into their own homes and lives. • The success of the annual health fair at Atlantic City Townhouse caused them to outgrow the space needed to house the 35 vendors and over 200 residents and community members who attended! Attendees received free screenings for a variety of health indicators, plus were treated to massages and yoga lessons. • Our afterschool and summer program participants have been building healthy habits and increasing their fitness levels through the President’s Challenge. Through integration of the President’s Challenge program’s fitness activities at least three days a week, the number of our participants at or above the 50th percentile according to the program’s nationally normed standards doubled over from the beginning to the end of the program year.

“I have learned so much from the nutrition and wellness workshops at

Forest Park. The cooking classes really made me think about making good choices for the

meals I share with my son Malik. My last

physical proved it is working. My blood pressure has lowered and my cholesterol is down!” CHARLES, NEW ORLEANS, LA



Service Coordination

RESIDENT SERVICES COORDINATORS provide one-on-one guidance and case management to help residents find additional community resources to overcome challenges facing them and their families. • At Washington Dodd in Orange, New Jersey, National Night Out 2014 was a great bonding experience for the whole community. Thanks to local business sponsors, everyone joined together to share delicious, healthy food and watch as the children enjoyed soccer games, jump rope competitions, face painting, and manicures for the girls. • A single mother and her children arrived at Ship’s Cove with only the small amount of luggage they could carry. The staff at this Fall River, Massachusetts property helped the family furnish their apartment and meet their basic needs for food and transportation. They helped them identify service providers for their educational and medical needs, including the mother’s acute surgical need. • Eviction prevention is an integral component of the support our team provides residents. At Bayview Towers in Stamford, Connecticut, five residents were in jeopardy of eviction. The Resident Services Coordinator helped them locate rent assistance, identify social services for food stamps, childcare and donated clothing, and taught them how to eat healthy while maintaining their budgets.

“With the community center so close to home, I always know I have a place to go when I need help.”





THE SUCCESS OF THE OPERATION PATHWAYS PROGRAMS would not be possible without the sustaining support of our local and national partners. We sincerely thank them all, with special recognition of:

Amerigroup Corporation Amerigroup Foundation Archdioceses of Philadelphia

AZAR Foundation Bank of America Best Buy Bucks County Food Bank Bucks County Opportunity Council Caleco Children and Family Legacy Fund City of Falls Church Community Service Fund CMQ Flooring Del Valley Mental Health Deutsch-Khanna Family Fund Dollar General Literacy Foundation Every Kid a King Food Bank of South East Jersey Foundations Community Partnership Healthy City Fall River Iberia Bank Junior League of Baton Rouge Kiss Electric, LLC Latter & Blum New Jersey Shares No Child Hungary Oldways Philabundance Sam’s Club Sharps Landscaping, Inc. ShopRite Sodexo Remote Sites Suntrust United Way Campaign The David and Minnie Berk Foundation U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Walmart


Operation Pathways envisions vibrant housing communities where residents are engaged, empowered, and supported to live to their fullest potential.

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3500 New York, NY 10168 • 646.336.4940 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20005 • 202.789.5300


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