Frequently Asked Questions

How do I donate to Family Pathways?

Financial donations can be made online, by mail, or over the phone at 651-674-8040. Please be assured your donations will support your local community. When making your donation, you can have it used where most urgently needed, or designate it for a specific Family Pathways program area. Family Pathways meets the Charities Review Council's highest rating for financial activities, governance, public disclosure, and fundraising. Click here to make a donation through our secure website.

Donations to our programs are 100% tax deductible

Find out about more ways to help Family Pathways help your community...

Back to top
How does my teen start attending a Family Pathways’ Teen Center?

Each teen has an enrollment form to fill out with their parent or guardian; this is given to the teen on their first day of attendance. Our enrollment form includes expectations of youth, possible health concerns, and emergency contact information. We also ask for demographic information from the youth and their families for grant purposes. All information is kept confidential. 

Back to top
How can I help Family Pathways’ Teen Centers?

We are always in need of volunteers to help with activities and mentor our youth. We also accept donations such as: arts & crafts supplies, sporting goods, board games, movies, personal hygiene products, and monetary donations.

Back to top
Who staffs the Family Pathways' Teen Centers?

Each teen center is staffed with one full-time employee and one part-time employee. Each employee has to go through a background check and interview process to ensure the safety of our youth. We also value education at our teen centers; currently, employees hold degrees in fields such as Education, Psychology, Social Work, Criminal Justice, and Counseling.

Back to top
How often can I use the food shelf?

Once a month for a full shop and once a week for fresh produce and bakery items.

Back to top
How much food do I receive?

About 30 pounds per person which is equivalent to 7-10 days of food.

Back to top
What resources can the Food Shelf help me with?

SNAP Benefits (food stamps), Free and Reduced School Lunches, Salvation Army, Ruby's Pantry, Fare for All, and many more as there are resources specific to certain counties.

Back to top
What does my income have to be in order for me to use the Food Shelf?

We serve families that are up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidlines.

Back to top
What items do you provide for residents at the Refuge Network shelter?

We provide residents with their daily living needs: food, personal care items, clothing, and transportation as available. The shelter advocates provide women with resource and referral information, individual and group support, and goal setting. The shelter has a youth advocate who works with the children to help them understand what is happening in their lives.

Back to top
How long may I stay at the Refuge Network shelter?

Residents may stay as long as they need to however, they must be working toward self-sufficiency with the help from their assigned advocate.

Back to top
Are men allowed to stay at the Refuge Network shelter?

No, we do not have accomodations for men at the shelter. However we do have male advocates who are able to help men in need. Other services offered to men include domestic violence and sexual assult advocacy for male victims, legal advocacy, criminal court support, resources and referrals, meditation and paralegal services, and the Step Up program for abusive men.

Back to top
If I use the Refuge Network services, do the police have to be involved?

No, it's up to you to determine how far you may want to legally take your situation. Our community advocates can meet with you and discuss your options; this way you can make informed decisions.

Back to top
How do the Thrift Stores determine their pricing and why does it sometimes vary from store to store?

Family Pathways operates ten Thrift Stores throughout our service area.  The mission of our Thrift Stores is to transform community donations of gently-used clothing and household goods into financial support for Family Pathways’ social service programs. Programs include Hunger Relief Services (Food Shelves), Youth Services, Aging Services, and the Refuge Network (offers services to assist victims of domestic violence and sexual assault).

We offer a wide assortment of products that meet someone’s daily needs as well as items that are purely “luxuries.”  It is not unusual to see a winter coat for $30 or more next to another for $6. We offer a wide range of products and prices. We aim to consistently price each product fairly, remembering that our goal is to raise as much funding as possible to support our community programs and services. With the high volume of donations we process and price on a daily basis, it is difficult to determine the origin of all items to determine an accurate value.  We also have a variety of staff pricing donations daily as they are received. We work hard as a team to communicate across all stores on keeping our prices fair and consistent. We use a pricing guide that gives industry-wide price ranges for all types of merchandise. Our pricers use this pricing guide, their knowledge and their experience to put a fair price on all items, keeping our mission in mind. We do run monthly, progressive discounts on select color-tagged items in order to give our customers more value and to correct any items that may have been ambitiously priced.

Back to top
Why are you placing my donated Thrift Store items into a trailer?

Our goal is to be able to receive all saleable donations at our store locations. Our stores range in size and layout and, depending on the time of year, we may not have the room to store all donated items inside our store until they are processed and priced. The trailers provide us with the ability to accept and store more donations throughout the year. The volume of donations received also varies throughout the year and from store to store. The adaptation of trailers allows us to distribute donated items by the trailer load to our other store locations when they are experiencing a low volume of donations.  All donated items, whether they are brought into the store or placed into a trailer, are eventually processed and put out for sale if deemed saleable. 

Back to top
What do you do with the donated Thrift Store items that do not sell?

While it is our goal to transform all donated items into funding for Family Pathways programs, there are times a donated item is deemed non-saleable or has been for sale for several months and has not sold, even after being discounted several times. We make every effort to minimize the number of items that go into landfills. In some cases, we will move saleable donated items from one store to another to give these items a chance to sell in another community. We also recycle shoes, belts, purses, soft-sided bags, luggage, clothing, textiles, metal, plastic, glass and paper.

Back to top
Family Pathways is a tax-exempt organization; why do the Thrift Stores charge sales tax on donated items?

Even though we are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, we are still legally obligated to collect sales tax for all taxable items sold per state laws. The sales taxes collected are sent on to the appropriate state, county, and/or city government.

Back to top
What items do you accept for Thrift Store donations and why don't you accept everything that is brought to you?

Unfortunately, due to product recalls, cost of disposal, consumer safety and resale laws, we are unable to accept all types of item donations. While we certainly appreciate your support of our mission when you choose to donate your item to Family Pathways, some items may be determined to be non-saleable or would actually cost us money to accept them, taking away from our mission to raise funds for our programs. To find a list of items we accept for donations, please click here.

Back to top