Born in Augusta Georgia and raised in the Bronx, John is the oldest of 8 children.
After high school John held various jobs ranging from: caterer, grounds keeper and nursing assistant among others. These jobs took John through East Coast states like: Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia during the 80’s, 90’s and settling in New York in the early 2000’s.
While living in Hunt’s Point New York, John’s building was condemned without warning due to the landlord being convicted of drug charges.
John was never able to retrieve his belongings and was homeless for the next 2 years.
During this time John couch-surfed with family while falling into a deeper depression that he had always been able to manage before becoming homeless. As his depression worsened, John’s drinking and drug use increased. Over the next 2 years, John migrated back through various East Coast states staying with family and friends.
In 2013 John entered Bronx Works and stayed there for 2 years fighting depression, drug and alcohol addiction until his supervisor suggested detox so that he can find an apartment.
In 2015 John entered detox, and says the next 31 days were the best of his life. They lead to him quitting drugs and alcohol for good.
After his time in detox John came to Urban Pathways. During that time he graduated from the 6-month Howie The Harp peer advocate program. John continues to be drug and alcohol free, living at Urban Pathways' supportive housing residence, Cluster House on the Upper West Side. John is now a certified peer specialist working at The Bridge: a treatment center for individuals recovering from alcohol and drug abuse; as well as mental illness.
John will be moving into his own condo in Parkchester later this month as part of Urban Pathways Moving On Initiative.
Learn more about John’s pathway to independent housing through Urban Pathways at this year’s Way Home Awards & Gala May 10th at 6pm.
About Urban Pathways
Urban Pathways is a New York City-based, nonprofit organization that provides housing and support to homeless and at-risk adults throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Urban Pathways serves more than 2,000 homeless individuals a year and provides transitional, extended stay and permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals. www.urbanpathways.org. Donate