Nell is a Brooklyn-based supporter of Urban Pathways. She’s been donating to support our work for the past 10 years and volunteers regularly by providing meals to our residents.

Here is Nell’s story about volunteering at Urban Pathways’ Residences at Hallet’s Cove and the unbreakable bond she and her family have formed with the residents.

In college I had taken social service classes and I was interested in getting involved and forming a relationship with an organization that focused on serving the undeserved.

In 2009, a colleague introduced me to Ben Braun who was on the Board of Directors for Urban Pathways. After my conversation with Ben, my husband and I started supporting Urban Pathways, assisting on projects, and volunteering in small capacities.

In 2016, my husband and I wanted to play a more active role in supporting the organization. We spoke to Urban Pathways’ CEO Fred Shack and he indicated that their Residences at Hallet’s Cove would be a good place to start volunteering with the residents.

We initially began our relationship with the staff and residents at Hallet’s Cove by weeding and gardening in their backyard. We even had the stray cats neutered! We then transitioned to hosting arts and crafts projects for the residents before settling on cooking for the residents.

The residents have always looked forward to our volunteer events, especially the cooking events! They engage with us on a personal level, we follow their lives, listen to their inspiring and uplifting stories, and we consider them family. A lot of the residents here are like you and me. One resident is a musician and plays his guitar during lunch!

Letter of thanks from the residents of Hallet's Cove.

Letter of thanks from the residents of Hallet’s Cove.

Since we started volunteering, my family and I have built lasting relationships with Urban Pathways’ residents at Hallet’s Cove. Our bond with the residents is so strong that we decided against moving out of New York after thinking about not seeing our friends at Hallet’s Cove.

Organizations like Urban Pathways are important to the fabric of New York City because they provide the supportive services that vulnerable New Yorkers need to move them to independence. With Urban Pathways, the residents have a lot of support, freedom, and dignity.

During this current health crisis, organizations like Urban Pathways need all the support they can get to continue to serve this vulnerable population and keep the residents focused on their goals for independence.

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 3,700 homeless individuals a year and provides transitional, extended stay, and permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals.