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Family Pathways: Community in a time of crisis

With the growing threat of the coronavirus, many in the health care industry are facing extreme hours, exhaustion and coming face-to-face with the reality of the pandemic. For some, there is also the stress of wondering what to do with children who are no longer attending school or day cares due to the virus. 

For Buckner Family Pathways in Midland, Texas, a group of moms are answering the question of child care for those still working.

Family Pathways is designed to support single parents through crisis offering financial empowerment, parenting skills and much more. The program helps single moms or dads overcome many barriers to education and offers a place of community where they learn they don’t have to walk alone. 

Three single mothers in the Family Pathways program continue to work at Midland Memorial Hospital, bravely facing the threat of the coronavirus and tiring hours with no end in sight. Typically, their children would head to day care during their shifts, but many child care businesses have closed their doors to comply with social distancing measures.

But with the support of their Family Pathways community, these health care moms don’t have to worry about their children during their shifts: They’re getting help from their fellow moms.

Many residents are currently navigating working from home or extended leave from their jobs, creating an opportunity for three moms in the Family Pathways program to offer their help. No longer reporting to their respective jobs, these single mothers graciously offered to support their community members with child care. 

Lillian Patton, an LVN student, is able to continue to serve in the medical field without the additional stress of arranging child care each day.

“You put yourself at risk so that patients can have a fighting chance to live," Patton said. "We put ourselves on the line for others. It’s definitely a calling, and I can’t see myself doing something different."

Seeing the residents come together in this time of crisis has encouraged Sindy Muro, Family Pathways program director, and the resident council to adapt the way they provide support during this season. 

This past week, the council created gift baskets for residents that include healthy snacks, flash card games for their children, healthy drinks and face masks for those working in health care. 

“It has been so heartfelt to see our clients come together like never before and offer their support to one another however they see fit,” Muro said. “They are praying for each other and our community while staying positive and optimistic during this global crisis. I am just so blessed to see them connect in a completely different manner.”

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