Dear PATH Family,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that Charles Orr, the husband of our founder, Claire Orr, passed away yesterday after battling a long-term illness.

Charles was the Senior Pastor of Westwood Presbyterian Church (WPC). With the “nudging” of his wife, Claire, Pastor Charles sent out a community-wide letter on November 18, 1983 to compel “concerned residents, members of the business community, the clergy, and private and public agencies” to “provide much needed shelter and services to the homeless”.

The community meeting (led by Claire and hosted at WPC) that followed his letter became the birth of PATH (People Assisting The Homeless).

As PATH grew from a small Westside of Los Angeles agency to a large statewide organization, Charles was always quietly working behind the scenes reaching out to potential supporters, encouraging faith groups to get involved, and providing much needed insight to me and other PATH leaders.

PATH and PATH Ventures, indeed, is part of his legacy.

In his 1983 letter, Charles wrote, “We believe the need is NOW…” Today, thirty seven years later… as we struggle to help the most vulnerable people on our streets overcome this scary virus sweeping across our communities, I think Charles’ words are still pertinent today.

The need to help our unhoused neighbors during this difficult time is now.

I am sure Charles would be so proud to know that 700 PATH and PATH Ventures staff members are working across the state to serve struggling families, older people languishing on our streets, and scared residents in our supportive housing units during this pandemic.

We send our love to Claire and their family.