Certified Peer Specialist

My name is Scott and Urban Pathways laid the foundation that changed my life.

Urban Pathways helped Scott reintegrate back into the community. He is now a Certified Peer Specialist. 

Urban Pathways helped Scott reintegrate back into the community. He is now a Certified Peer Specialist. 

My name is Scott McDonald, and Urban Pathways helped lay the foundation that changed my life.

A New York native, I grew up in the Bronx, graduated high school and worked full-time - holding a mid-management position while also getting married.  

All the while I had underlying mental health issues: I suffered from depression, ADHD, alcoholism, and rage. In 1992 my mother was diagnosed with cancer; this started the downfall of my mental health. After her death in 1995 and the continued deterioration of my mental health, my wife filed for divorce.    

In 2008 I hit rock bottom. The company I had worked for since high school was bought out; leaving me jobless and ultimately homeless. Living on the streets, I was suicidal and felt overwhelmed by my situation.

At a men’s shelter, my case manager told me about Urban Pathways and I was invited to look at an apartment in their scattered site program…where I was later accepted.

Urban Pathways laid the groundwork that has accelerated my wellness and recovery. With the help of my case manager, I got my first job since becoming homeless. Having a place to call my own has also helped me to reintegrate into the community.

I am now a Certified Peer Specialist where I speak to clients and government officials about my experiences, while also lecturing and assisting collegiate internship programs focusing on homeless and mental health services.

Everyone has keys…keys to their residence, their vehicle, etc. and most times we take them for granted. The day I received the keys to my new apartment from Urban Pathways was very emotional for me. Having those keys in my hand made me realize all that I had been through and where I am today. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Urban Pathways programs, services and staff. They were there for me when I needed someone the most.

Please support Urban Pathways in creating a society in which homeless and at-risk New Yorkers can begin their journey toward stability and self-sufficiency.

Urban Pathways annual Gala will take place on Thursday, May 5th at The Grand Hyatt New York. Join us for an evening filled with hope and opportunity, your contribution and attendance will help us provide our clients with a way home.

Founded in 1975, Urban Pathways (UP) is a not-for-profit, social service and supportive housing organization serving homeless adults in the New York Metropolitan Area.

rban Pathways serves as the first point of contact for New Yorkers. We engage individuals “where they at” through our strong network of social services to help individuals move into housing and minimize the likelihood of ever returning to the streets.