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Compassion Health Toledo Community Health Worker Janelle Pinskey Matson, left, with Kristi and Adalynn

Pathways participant Kristi was homeless during a brutally cold polar vortex and the baffling early stages of the pandemic. But Kristi’s lack of housing became even more dire after learning she was pregnant.

Compassion Health Toledo Community Health Worker Janelle Pinskey Matson helped Kristi prepare for her daughter’s arrival. That included getting assistance paying a long-overdue balance on an electric account and the deposit on an apartment where they moved soon after Adalynn was born in early 2022.

“I’m just appreciative of how many resources there are,” said Kristi, adding she enjoyed working with Janelle and receiving care coordination services from a community health worker. “It’s definitely life changing. I’d certainly recommend it.”

Kristi and Adalynn benefitted from the Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB’s Keystone Fund, which was created in 2021 by an anonymous $15,000 challenge gift that was matched. The fund provides up to $1,000 each to clients who have financial barriers to securing stable housing, helping them pay for deposits and other expenses that are often out of reach.

To help replenish the fund, clients are asked to agree to pay it forward when they are able for the next person in need. Anyone interested in contributing to the Keystone Fund can make a secure donation online.

Kristi has made a cozy home for her and Adalynn, including play stations that follow the Montessori method of education. Janelle praised Kristi for all the work she does, such as soaking up parenting videos to nurture Adalynn’s development.

“She’s an amazing client,” Janelle said. “She does everything well.”

While Kristi hopes to go back to school to become a vet tech or something else along those lines, she plans to focus on Adalynn until the lively toddler is a bit older. Kristi continues to experience anxiety and trauma related to being homeless, not to mention fleeing a violent relationship before returning to the Toledo area.

“I didn’t really have anything when I came back here,” Kristi recalled. “I had myself, my backpack, and I brought my TV.”

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