Urban Pathways Gala

John is "Moving On" to his own apartment!

John Burnett is a participant in Urban Pathways' Moving On Initiative 

John Burnett is a participant in Urban Pathways' Moving On Initiative 

Born in Augusta, Georgia and raised in the Bronx, John is the oldest of eight children.

After high school, John held various jobs including: caterer, grounds keeper and nursing assistant,  among others. These jobs took John through East Coast states like Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia during the 80s, 90s. He settling in New York in the early 2000s.

While living in Hunt’s Point, John’s building was condemned without warning following the landlord being convicted of drug charges.

John was never able to retrieve his belongings and was homeless for the next two years.

During this time John couch-surfed with family while falling into a deeper depression that he had been able to manage before becoming homeless. As his depression worsened, John’s drinking and drug use increased. Over the next two years, John migrated back through various East Coast states staying with family and friends. 

In 2013 John entered a Bronx Works program and stayed there for two years fighting depression and drug and alcohol addiction until his supervisor suggested detox.

In 2015 John entered detox, and says those next 31 days were the best of his life. They led to him quitting drugs and alcohol for good.

After finishing detox, John came to Urban Pathways. During that time he enrolled in and graduated from the six-month Howie The Harp peer advocate program. John continues to be drug and alcohol free, living at an 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 on 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 2,500 homeless individuals a year and provides transitional, extended stay and permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals. www.urbanpathways.org. Donate

 

Urban Pathways Highlights: Robert Offley

Robert Offley receiving his Supporting Housing Network of New York (SHNNY) award for tenant of the year in October of 2017. 

Robert Offley receiving his Supporting Housing Network of New York (SHNNY) award for tenant of the year in October of 2017. 

Being born and raised in New York City, Robert Offley is no stranger to the concrete jungle. Robert had been street homeless for more than twenty years until he finally obtained permanent housing with Urban Pathways at the beginning of 2016.

Robert grew up in the Bronx and was raised by his mother where he was introduced to alcohol by age 14 and drugs at age 16. By age 23 Robert was married with 3 children and in a downward spiral with harder drugs.

Robert worked in the shipping business for 10 years until he was laid off. After losing his job, Robert worked as a porter for 7 years but was fired due to substance abuse and was eventually arrested due to possession of a controlled substance. Robert spent a one year jail and was diagnosed as a manic depressive. He was released from his incarceration and became homeless staying in Madison Square Park for over 10 years.

Life changed when Robert finally secured and apartment of his own, but he gave up his home up to care for his handicapped relative, it would be 5 years before Mr. Offley would be homeless again.

After his relative’s death, Robert couch-surfed and eventually returned to his comfort zone in Madison Square Park. When Robert’s father became ill he was called upon again to serve as a primary caregiver. Robert cared for his father until his passing. Once his father died, Robert again found himself once in Madison Square Park, reuniting with his old panhandling group of men and women who became his family. 

After taking care of others for so long, Robert realized that is was he that he needed help. One day, Robert was sleeping on a bench in Madison Square Park when he suffered a brain aneurysm. Two months after being released from the hospital Robert returned to Madison Square Park, but this time sought out help.

Robert, when he came in to Urban Pathways  

Robert, when he came in to Urban Pathways  

He came across Urban Pathways Outreach team and decided to engage with them. Tiffany Porter, an Outreach Specialist in the Flatiron BID Outreach Program, met Robert in Madison Square Park and, after several months of engaging him in conversations and gaining his trust, Tiffany secured permanent housing for Robert in our newest residence located near Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. 

Now Robert is very involved in resident activities in his building and is an active participant in client advocacy groups. He is a friend to everyone and is loved by the staff and residents.

Robert never forgot where he came from, and today he often travels from his apartment to Madison Square Park to see his friends who still live there and help them gain housing as he did.

Urban Pathways' Residences at 162nd Street Bronx, NY 

Urban Pathways' Residences at 162nd Street Bronx, NY 

He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren and visits his mother monthly. Today, Robert is a success story of the Madison Square Park community and an advocate for those who are sick and unable to care for themselves. 

Robert uses his journey to find a home with Urban Pathways as an example, and shows others they too can obtain housing and live a better life. Thanks to Robert, some of his friends are on their way to permanent housing.

Urban Pathways has changed Robert’s life, giving him a sense of purpose when he wakes up in the morning. He has found himself again by finding a home, and always has a smile on his face that brightens up the room.

Recently this past October, Robert was awarded the Tenant of the Year award from the Supportive Housing Network of New York (SHNNY). Further showing his dedication to stability and wellness in the community. 

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.

Ride with Via for Tomorrow's Gala to End Homelessness!

Our friends at Via are providing rides for 50% off to and from tomorrow's Gala To End Homelessness – use promo code* URBAN17

*Promo code is valid for rides to and from Grand Hyatt NYC on May 11 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 50% off applies to base fare only and does not include tax, tolls and additional passenger charges. Tax applies to rides paid for with prepaid Ride Credit or by charging the card on file. Additional passengers ride at $3 each. Rides must be within Via’s service zone and must start and end in Manhattan. Excludes airport and Brooklyn rides.*

Learn more about our event here.

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 Today

 

Answering the calls to action from City and State, New Yorkers gather to support Urban Pathways Benefit to End Homelessness.

On Thursday May 5th, New Yorkers came together for an evening of hope and opportunity.

New York, NY May 5th – On Thursday, May 5 supporters, influencers, and ambassadors for the cause of ending homelessness came together for an evening of hope and opportunity at Urban Pathways’ annual fundraising gala and silent auction.

For the first time, Urban Pathways held an online silent auction that began a week before the gala and ended at the close of the event. During cocktail hour, attendees had the opportunity to see the online auction items in person and continue their bidding's throughout the night.

During the dinner portion of the gala, guests watched a public service announcement on homelessness by author, philanthropist and Urban Pathways supporter Paco Underhill as well as a moving short film titled “The Keys” featuring Urban Pathways clients whose lives have been changed for the better by the organization.

Guests listened to speeches by Urban Pathways CEO Fred Shack, President Emeritus of Urban Pathways Board of Directors Gary Belsky, current President Keith Berger, supporter Paco Underhill and Gloria Montes; a client and Army veteran.

The night was capped off with Urban Pathways clients from the short film “The Keys” accepting a standing ovation from guests. Auctioneer CK Swett, closed the evening live auctioning a vintage bottle of champagne as well as tickets to the 16 Tony Award nominee Hamilton.

Please join the hundreds of supporters who attended Urban Pathways gala in helping us end homelessness in New York City. The problem of homelessness is becoming pandemic. Currently in New York City, there are more than 60,000 homeless individuals living in city streets and shelters--a number that is over 90% higher than it was 10 years ago. As the weather gets warmer, these numbers will rise. 

Urban Pathways looks to raise awareness and the critical funding to meet their goal to end homelessness by the end of the decade, including growing their existing residential portfolio by 1,000 units and expanding programs and services for homeless New Yorkers. 

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