Joel John Roberts

Chief Executive Officer, PATH


Housing and Homelessness Columnist

Column contributed fourth Monday of every month

Joel Roberts joined PATH in September, 1996 and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for PATH. In 1996, PATH was a local one-site project in West Los Angeles.

Under Joel’s leadership, the agency has grown into a multi-site, nationally-recognized leader in social services, known for its innovative co-location approach. Joel’s professional background is in International Relief and Development.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Cross Cultural Studies from Fuller Seminary and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from California State University, Long Beach. When Joel has spare time, he likes to travel to exotic places around the world.


Roberts: The year of the essential homelessness worker

Who would have imagined that nurses and doctors would fall into the same category as grocery store clerks and meatpacking workers? They all became essential workers, a term we used rarely before March. Of course, who would have imagined a worldwide pandemic would arrive on the shores of America, shutting down society? I remember when...

Roberts: The demonization of homelessness

Four years. Four long years of demonizing the opposition. Sadly, this has become part of the “new normal,” just like Zoom video calls, take-out fine dining, mask wearing (at least for some), WFH (work from home) and demonizing anyone who disagrees with your personal, righteous worldview. You don’t agree with my progressive political agenda? Then...

Roberts: Addressing homelessness is not a political winner

A recent UC Berkeley poll asked voters to rate Governor Gavin Newsom’s performance. More than half (55%) said he was doing a poor or very poor job on homelessness, and only 11% gave him good or excellent marks. For almost 25 years, I have been leading a homeless services and housing development agency that operates in...