From Homeless to Hope
Last year, 18,772 men, women and children relied on the life-changing services of Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY). Of these individuals, 10,558 counted on us for a place to sleep—whether in a temporary shelter or permanent supportive housing program—including Carmelita and her two sons. Carmelita and her sons came to live temporarily at VOA-GNY’s family shelter on the Upper West Side after an eviction left them homeless. The experience brought back memories of living on the streets as a young girl with her mother. She was determined to give her boys a better life. The support Carmelita received from staff at VOA-GNY was everything she needed to get her back on her feet. She found a job at Duane Reade, one of VOA-GNY’s corporate partners, which she knew was key to regaining her independence, and while at work, Carmelita felt confident that her boys were in good hands with our Recreation staff. Eventually, Carmelita managed to find and secure an apartment—a permanent place that the family could call “home.” Carmelita is grateful for the help she received at VOA-GNY. “When you have guidance and support, you can get through it,” she says.