365 New Orleans is focused on local artists and businesses. Every single day, for one year, a new person or place will be highlighted. Follow along on Instagram: @365NewOrleans
Operation Pathways, based in Algiers and New Orleans East, is a non-profit that works towards empowering their residents. They offer health screenings, summer camps for the kids, gardening, and so much more.
Their resident service coordinator, Tiffany Martinez, plans and executes the best events. She has previously done fundraising for the kids to go to space camp. She also set up a pen pal program – the kids at the Algiers location have a pen pal at the New Orleans East location. They got to meet their pen pal when they all went to space camp together.
Other types of activities include teaching about money and how to be fiscally responsible, learning about healthier food choices, and they even help with resume building and interview coaching.
Tiffany and Operation Pathways are indeed making New Orleans a better place to be.
1. What products and services do you offer?
Operation Pathways provides and coordinates place-based programs and services for residents in affordable housing communities to increase the quality of life. Our goal to create vibrant housing communities where residents are engaged, empowered, and supported to live to their fullest potential. Locally, we have community centers at Forest Park Apartments (Algiers) and Walnut Square Apartments (New Orleans East). Our programs are open to all community members and are focused on the Pathway to Healthier Living, Academic Achievement, Financial Stability, and Aging in Place.
2. How long have you been in business?
Locally, since 2004. Operation Pathways is an affiliate of the NHP Foundation (NHPF). NHPF was founded in 1989 to help preserve America’s affordable housing. Building on their commitment to affordable housing, NHPF launched its resident services division in 1996 to provide programs and service coordination for their residents. As this resident services division grew, it took on the name Operation Pathways and has developed nationally recognized programs and services.
3. How do people find you online?
4. What is lesser known about your business that you wish more people knew?
Of course we love volunteers for special events or to serve as mentors for our communities, but we also have paid contractor positions like fitness instructors and cooking instructors. Contactif you are interested in bringing your expertise to our communities!
We also have a fundraiser coming up at Blaze Pizza 5001 Freret, on Thursday, November 8th from 5-8pm. Order a pizza, and 20% of your bill will go towards our Pathways to Healthier Living programs, supporting local youth. All you have to do is show the “Be a Dough Gooder” flyer that you can find on our Facebook page.
5. What’s your favorite aspect or project you’ve worked on?
It is hard to pick just one! A favorite project was securing funding to build a 1,000 sq. ft. community garden that is cared for and maintained by community members. This allows for fresh produce and herbs for the community, physical activity for participants (adults and youth) and all the benefits that gardening provides. Hearing a community member say “I have never tried fresh Rosemary before, but now I use it to season most of my food” is a huge nutrition education win!
An important aspect of this job is connecting community members to employment opportunities. By figuring out what might be hindering employment (lack of transportation, interview attire, childcare, updated resume) we are able to assist in overcoming each individual’s obstacle. By using the “Family-Centered Coaching” approach, we are able to put families in the driver’s seat to their own journey of increasing quality of life.
If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to Operation Pathways – contact Tiffany Martinez directly at TMartinez@gmail.com.