My Name is Robert and Urban Pathways gave me a Second Chance

Growing up in the 1970's in the South Bronx was very difficult. The area was home to some of the most crime-ridden, drug infested neighborhoods in the city.

Seeing this poverty and sadness as a child on a daily basis contributed to my extreme sensitivity and depression. 

At the age of 13 I was placed on Prozac and eventually hospitalized as a result of a suicide attempt. For the next several years I was in and out of various hospitals finally being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

1970 "Fifth Ave at 110th Street, East Harlem." IMAGE: CAMILO JOSÉ VERGARA/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

1970 "Fifth Ave at 110th Street, East Harlem." IMAGE: CAMILO JOSÉ VERGARA/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS


My mother and I were very close due to the fact that she raised me as a single parent. She, like me was very sensitive and empathetic to her everyday surroundings. In 2009 my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma, for the next two years I took care of her full time until her death in 2011. 

After my mother’s death I became homeless. I had no job due to my illness and when I did have jobs, I couldn't keep them. I couldn't pay the rent and bills so I left and started sleeping on friends and family members couches.

Though I never was street homeless, living between friends and family was very difficult. I had no personal space and I couldn't get comfortable as I didn't know where I was going to sleep most nights until the last minute. 

During this time I was once again hospitalized for depression; I met with a social worker that knew I had housing problems; this was when I was first introduced to Urban Pathways. I interviewed and was accepted in 2014. 

Now with the help of Urban Pathways I live in my own apartment in Hughes House, one of their 14 supportive housing sites. Since gaining housing, I have completed my training to become a peer support specialist and I am working to attain my Bachelors of Social Work.

Through my experiences, I have met countless people who have helped and inspired me to keep going; I want to do the same for others. 

Urban Pathways is doing God’s work, they have provided me and countless others with a roof over our heads, keys in our hands and the opportunity to help others as well as myself. I can't thank them enough. Donate today and help more homeless and at-risk New Yorkers "Find The Way Home". 

 

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