STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Every year in the Poconos, companies and individuals come together to raise money for local non-profit organizations. The 13th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser has raised more than $2 million dollars. This year the group chose six non-profits to help, including Pocono Area Transitional Housing.
Jessica Souto unexpectedly lost her job, then her apartment.
“Then we were like ‘okay, what’s our next step? What are we going to do?'”, asks Souto.
Jessica didn’t know how to support her two young children. She found her answer at Pocono Area Transitional Housing or PATH.
“We kind of become a surrogate family for our families here,” smiles PATH Executive Director Sharon Taylor.
The PATH house provides temporary housing and support to homeless families with children. As many as ten families can stay there at a time while they work to get back on their feet.
PATH’s ultimate goal is to find the families permanent places to live. In the meantime, the staff teaches them how to save money.
“Your goals, they want you to go for those goals. Instead of just sitting here and not getting anything accomplished,” says Souto.
PATH’s Executive Director Sharon Taylor says low income and high rent puts poverty at an all time high in Monroe County. Each year, the non-profit helps nearly 200 local families.
“I tell everybody I have the best job in the world. I get to see real life miracles happen every day. Because people come here and think life is never going to be good again,” smiles Taylor.
But Jessica says life does get better. Shes learning that behind these brick walls in Stroudsburg.
“I’m thankful for a lot. If they weren’t here, you know, where would I be right now?” wonders Souto.
With this year’s funding from the 13th annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser, PATH will keep it’s doors open. Eyewitness News reporter Brianna Strunk is emceeing the big event this year on Thursday, July 28th. That’s when we will learn how much money all six non-profits will receive.