Bruce was born in the Bronx and raised in Harlem, the second oldest of four brothers. He grew up in a single-parent household and worked odd jobs starting as a teenager to help his mother make ends meet.
At age 21, he moved out of his mother’s apartment and in with his girlfriend after having their first child.
After living with the mother of his children for over twenty years, Bruce’s relationship with her had deteriorated to the point where he had to move out. To make matters worse, he had recently been hurt at work and was on disability. In 2015, as soon as Bruce left his apartment, he began a three-year journey of homelessness.
Once homeless, Bruce lived in Grand Central, Penn Station, his car and various other places in the city.
”I always tried to keep moving, it was the most difficult thing to do every day.“ says Bruce. Though street homeless, he kept up his appearance, and never told his family. He would clean up at a hostel his brother worked at and at a garage his friend owned. “I would go to family functions and everyone would be so happy and carefree, while I was worrying about where I would sleep that night.”
In August of 2018, Bruce finally told his family that he was homeless. Coincidentally, his brother was a former client at Urban Pathways who had been homeless and received housing. Bruce’s brother referred him Urban Pathways to meet with Housing and Outreach Specialist Hilton Douglas.
Once Bruce met Hilton, he was referred to Urban Pathways’ Outreach in Port Authority. In less than a month, Hilton called Bruce and informed him that he had been selected for housing in Urban Pathways’ Hallet’s Cove Residence, in Queens. “When I got that call from Urban Pathways, my entire life changed for the better.”
Bruce has now been at Hallet’s Cove for over 10 months. While there, he has been able to work on improving his health by becoming more active, riding his bike, and going to the neighborhood park. He has also been able to strengthen his relationships with his two children. His teenage son visits him every two weeks and he keeps in regular contact with his daughter and grandchildren who live in South Carolina. “My kids are my rock, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. In my darkest moments they kept be going.”
Bruce is hopeful to one day move to South Carolina and live out the rest of his days with his grandchildren.
Join us today and help move 40 people off the streets and into housing this month.
Your support today will help people like Bruce move from the streets to housing before the heat of summer hits!
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 Metropolitan area. Urban Pathways serves more than 3,700 homeless individuals a year and provides transitional, extended stay, and permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals.