PathPoint, a local nonprofit organization, has announced that the Santa Barbara County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services has officially awarded it the contract for providing supported housing services to adults with mental illness in South Santa Barbara County.

PathPoint, formerly known as Work Training Programs Inc., was founded in Santa Barbara in 1964 and started providing mental health services in the 1980s. With this contract, the organization will be able to staff an 11-member team (including two nurses) that will be mobile throughout the Santa Barbara area.

The team will work together to provide support services such as monitoring medication, budgeting and other independent skills to about 130 adults who are diagnosed with mental illness such as bipolar, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress syndrome and other psychological disorders.

The news comes after months of organized protests by consumers and advocates such as the Alliance of Local Leaders for Community Mental Health demanding that county officials preserve mental health funding for its most vulnerable citizens.

“Our concern for the people in our current mental health programs has been to ensure that they will receive adequate services after most community programs shut down after Oct. 31,” said Cindy Burton, president and CEO of PathPoint. “Being named the mental health community service provider is a step in the right direction.”

The organization hopes it can leverage other community partners (housing providers, housing authorities and eviction prevention supports) into an integrated system of housing support for people with mental illness.

Last week at BizBuzz, Jennifer Newbold, PathPoint vice president and director of mental health services, and Mike Foley, executive director of Casa Esperanza Homeless Shelter, accepted the Nonprofit Support Center’s Leadership in Action: Community Collaboration Award on behalf of ALL4CMH. The award highlighted the collaborative efforts of several community-based organizations, all of which provided mental health services Santa Barbara County.

PathPoint provides comprehensive training and support services that empowers people with disabilities or disadvantages to live and work as valued community members. PathPoint serves 2,340 people in the communities of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern and Los Angeles. Click here to learn more.

Nadia Anissia Osborn is PathPoint‘s public relations manager.