Mamadu Jalloh, is a Case Manager working at Urban Pathway’s Residences at Hallet’s Cove, in Astoria Queens.

If you ever struggle to keep track of your to-dos, Mamadu will have you wowed. This case manager provides a broad spectrum of life services to the 20 clients in his care, from scheduling appointments to making sure medications are taken, to talking through life’s challenges.

Mamadu must also document each client’s progress in all sorts of areas—from hygiene to psychological health—and if all goes well he’ll help in an eventual transition to independent housing. For Mamadu, seeing a client brandishing the key to their own home is the most rewarding part of the job. The most challenging? Building trust, which takes time but can disappear in a heartbeat. “If I tell a client we’ll meet at 7:00, it can’t be a moment later,” says Mamadu, who started with Urban Pathways as a security guard.

The coronavirus has recast Mamadu’s role to include fewer face-to-face exchanges. For the time being, he is on premises at the residence just three days a week. But pandemic or not, he’s determined to stay as client-focused as ever. He spends a lot of time with clients on the phone—often to arrange telehealth visits—and supplies them with a steady stream of facemasks and relevant health tips.

Mamadu is especially concerned about elevated anxiety levels at Hallet’s Cove, where residents don’t adjust easily to change. “Therapy sessions are now over the phone,” he says. Even those usually indisposed to opening up are keen to talk.

“We’re really here for our clients,” Mamadu stresses, “and that needs to be reinforced now all the more.”


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.