PATH seeks to restore HOPE with a PERSONALIZED approach to EMPOWER our East Texas neighbors to THRIVE in our community.


East Texas is known for its beautiful natural surroundings and its generous people. In 1984, Mrs. Gertrude Windsor, a local philanthropist, had the vision to bring the Tyler community together to address the issues surrounding poverty in a cooperative way. She gathered congregational and civic leaders to create a local, private, nonprofit organization to facilitate that collaboration sustainably; they called it People Attempting To Help (PATH). PATH began serving hard-working families in need in East Texas in 1985 to provide kindness and relief during their struggles.

Today, PATH continues to bridge the gap in our community between kind and generous people with caring hearts and our neighbors in need. PATH volunteers and staff live out their faith daily by serving over 20,000 people from Smith and surrounding counties each year through a highly individualized approach. Every individual or family coming for assistance has a private meeting with a caseworker every time they visit. Caseworkers are trained to listen and provide encouragement, information on PATH’s programs, and potential referrals to other community resources needed by that family. PATH’s Choice Food Pantry is the largest in the region, operating 40 hours weekly, and many of PATH’s emergency assistance programs and the Transitional Housing program are unduplicated in our community. About 150 families daily
come to downtown Tyler seeking hope and help from PATH. One-third of the families we serve have never visited PATH before.

PATH is a locally founded, locally funded social service agency with a wide range of programs and services, a strong history of community support, and a rare 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, a national organization dedicated to rating charities on the cost-effectiveness and overall health of a charity’s programs, including measures of stability, efficiency, and sustainability. The metrics inform donors of not just where their dollars are going but what their dollars are doing. PATH is also a BBB Accredited Charity and recipient of the 2022 BBB Nonprofit Award for Excellence. PATH also holds a 2023 Gold Seal of Transparency from Candid.

Everything we do is guided by our mission and the values we share:

All people have value and dignity and deserve the best possible opportunities.

We are sensitive and encouraging.

We trust each other, and we seek to earn the trust of others.

We use our resources to serve a diverse community, seeking the best possible opportunities for all.

We work to be proactive in response to a changing environment.

Much more information is available on this site, and we encourage you to check it out and send questions to us at info@PATHhelps.org. We would love to help you find a way to accomplish your goals and make your dream a reality as a part of #TeamPATH!