Vons employment representative Patricia Manfredonia and management at the Fairview Vons presented PathPoint with a $5,000 donation from the Vons Foundation in recognition of nearly seven years of collaboration between the two entities.

PathPoint participant and Vons employee Matthew Torp and his PathPoint job coach, Charlie Perkins, were on hand to accept the check on behalf of PathPoint.

PathPoint is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides comprehensive training and support services that empower people with disabilities or disadvantages to live and work as valued members of the community.

The mission is carried out through three types of programs: employment services, community access programs and supported living services. Participants in PathPoint’s employment services, like Torp, receive job training and coaching to help them adapt to working in a paid work environment. Torp has been working at Vons for more than three years and is a part-time employee.

“We are so pleased to be able to support the work that PathPoint does in our community,” Manfredonia said. “Vons has always had a great experience working with PathPoint. Their participants are hardworking and dedicated individuals, and PathPoint as an organization is always there to provide job coaching or other assistance. Individuals with disabilities have been wonderful additions to Vons’ team.”

“Vons has been a wonderful partner,” said Margaret Rose, PathPoint’s director of development. “Their commitment and sensitivity to the needs of people with disabilities has made our collaboration a great success.”

PathPoint has been operating in Santa Barbara since 1964 and is currently the only organization providing employment services to individuals with disabilities and disadvantages in the South Santa Barbara area. As the original center for PathPoint’s operations, the South Santa Barbara County Division has provided services to individuals and families in the communities of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta for more than four decades.

PathPoint services are “person-centered,” which means each individual is assisted in determining his or her own goals and provided support to reach individualized goals. PathPoint participants work at the Vons on Fairview, in La Cumbre Plaza and in Montecito; as well as for more than 200 other businesses and organizations in the community.

For information about hiring a PathPoint participant or PathPoint’s work in the community, click here or email info@pathpoint.org.

— Joey Corazza is a development coordinator for PathPoint.