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About Pathways

Our Mission


Empowering women and children on their path out of homelessness through hospitality, housing, and hope.

Our Vision


A Birmingham free of homelessness.

Our Story


The number of women and children experiencing homelessness in Birmingham, Alabama was both startling and growing in the early 1980s. While several men’s emergency shelters existed in that period, no social service agency provided any support for women experiencing homelessness during daylight hours.

In 1985, a small group of women from the Cathedral Church of the Advent (St. Mary’s Guild) partnered with Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM) to fill that critical gap, believing that wrap-around services were needed during daylight hours to assist women experiencing homelessness in their return to a life of dignity and self-sufficiency. Over the past thirty years, St. Mary’s Center became an independent 501(c) 3 agency (renamed Birmingham PATH) and later merged with another non-profit agency, Bread & Roses, in 2003 to become Pathways. Thus, Pathways is the oldest, continuously operating agency in Birmingham dedicated to serving women and children experiencing homelessness.

Today, Pathways continues to offer a range of services for women and children experiencing homelessness through four programs: 
The Day Center, located in downtown Birmingham, meets the basic needs of unsheltered women and children by providing showers, laundry facilities, hot meals, clothing, hygiene products, phone and computer access, case management, and life skills classes. It is open every day of the year, including holidays from 9am-3pm for women and children sleeping any place not meant for human habitation. The Day Center also extends its hours during inclement weather.

Safe Haven provides permanent, supportive housing for women experiencing homelessness with a serious mental illness. This program is the only one of its kind for women in Alabama and residents are welcome to stay indefinitely. This program has a specific social worker that helps with medication management, medical visits, case management, and transportation.

Stepping Stones is an emergency shelter for women and children it was opened in February of 2019. This program provides shelter in a homelike environment while offering supportive services designed to assist residents in regaining economic stability and permanent housing. The length of stay in Stepping Stones is determined by the residents case plan in order to meet their specific needs.

Pathways Early Learning Center is licensed through the Department of Human Resources. Our childcare center is the first childcare center in Alabama that exclusively serves children experiencing homelessness. We provide Montessori-inspired early childhood education for children ages 8 weeks to 5 years. The program is licensed for 22 children at a time and serves families from shelters and unstable living situations throughout the Birmingham area. The ELC is open Monday – Friday from 7:30am-5:30pm. 

Over the years, it became obvious that families need more than shelter to escape homelessness. Pathways provides case management services to all our guests to connecting them with needed resources and empower them with the skills and confidence they need to take the first steps on their path out of homelessness.

Many things have changed and evolved over the years for Pathways, but one thing remains the same: our unwavering commitment to women and children experiencing homelessness in Birmingham.