Incorporated in 1970, Visions and Pathways (V&P) was New Jersey’s first private 501(c)(3) non-profit youth shelter. Our mission is to provide abused, neglected, homeless and missing youth with housing, a stable environment and supportive services that help them become self-sufficient. Through our outreach and prevention programs, we are at the forefront of efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and help human trafficking victims.
V&P’s unique wellness program is fundamental to our approach to guiding our youth on their personal path to empowerment, self-actualization, and self-sufficiency. Impacting mind, body and soul, the wellness program has three components: arts and recreation, nutrition and fitness, and spirituality. Each component is described below.
- Arts and Recreation
- Onsite- Different activities are brought to our V&P locations to engage the youth in hands on experiences once or twice a month. These include art classes, pet therapy, holiday celebrations, jewelry making, etc.
- Trips- Our recreational trips include activities that allow our youth to feel “like they are friends.” These trips include activities like the arcade, the Bronx Zoo, sporting events, Escape Rooms, visits to the sculpture gardens, etc. The youth and the Wellness Coordinator work to include trips on the calendar that are of interest and considered fun and exciting. These types of trips occur 2 to 4 times a month.
- Nutrition and Fitness
- Onsite- our onsite fitness and nutrition components includes healthy eating and cooking workshops, yoga, sports clinics and field days.
- Trips- the trips in this component often include hiking, different activities in the park and special workshops on healthy cooking provided by Shoprite or volunteers.
- V&P Youth
- Monthly dinners- Every month different faith-based groups come in and have dinner with our youth focusing on different spiritual topics each time. The spiritual topics include love, honesty, and trust. Often, these topics are feelings our youth may have a hard time identifying or exhibiting. The conversations are open, safe spaces.
- Unity videos- Our unity videos are short videos that we play during our virtual Giving Thanks Concert or on social media to focus on the importance of unity and togetherness.
- Social media messages- V&P shares educational and motivational messages on social media platforms (Twitter, FB, and Instagram) to educate, inform and encourage our followers.
The annual Giving Thanks festival is the celebration of the wellness program’s three components:
- Fitness activities
- Food vendors