Becoming homeless as a teen, Mark started searching up different programs and homeless shelters for young people. That’s when he found Streetwork Project.
Mark was chronically homeless as a teen and found himself navigating systems made for homeless adults. He moved from shelter to shelter until he found Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Project, a program uniquely designed for young people experiencing homelessness. Chris, the Daily Services Coordinator at Streetwork’s Uptown Drop-In Center, and other Streetwork staff made an indelible impact on Mark’s life.
Mark Finds Community at Streetwork Project for Homeless Youth
It was Chris’ first day working at the Drop-In Center when he met Mark. Chris provided daily essentials for Mark like food, laundry services, and connection to other resources. The two quickly developed a close rapport.
Community is the cornerstone of Streetwork Project. They host many groups where youth experiencing homelessness can engage with each other and heal. Chris and the Director of Streetwork Project, Sebastien Vante, invited Mark to be part of their men’s group. “The men’s group opened me up to talking and just trying to understand people and their perspectives,” Mark explains. Chris and Sebastien offered Mark increasing leadership responsibilities, which helped him get more opportunities to grow.
The Letter That Changed Mark’s Life
After completing one internship, Streetwork staff wrote him a recommendation letter that played a pivotal role in shaping Mark’s future. The letter detailed that Mark made a positive impact on the other homeless young people in the groups well as the Streetwork staff themselves. This showed Mark just how much of a difference he made and gave him a new sense of confidence and ambition.
Inspired and hopeful, Mark worked with Chris, Sebastien, and the Streetwork team to find stability. Mark moved into an apartment in upstate New York where he now works in food service management. He is planning to go back to school for a Human Services degree so he can make an impact on others’ lives the same way Chris and the Streetwork team did for him.