Marc endured hardships starting in his youth that led to him becoming homeless at age 17. Marc’s homelessness spanned many years during which he faced a great deal of hardship.

Now at age 35, and with the help of the staff at Urban Pathways, Marc has been able to focus on his goals and reclaim his life. Here is his story.

Marc was born in Brooklyn and lived with his mother, father and five siblings until age 15 when his father was accused of sexual assault.  After a being placed in foster care for a number of months, Marc and his siblings were reunited with their mother and moved to Florida.

Sadly, Marc lost his mother when he was only 16 and his older sister became guardian for him and his siblings. Losing his mom was a great hardship for Marc and led him into a downward spiral. He quit his job and began being disruptive in school, to the point where he was expelled.

Frustrated by his behavior, shortly after Marc turned 17, his sister sent him off to boarding school. After spending six months at the school Marc left and became homeless for the first time.

Marc’s first experience living on the streets lasted a few months until he was engaged by a nonprofit group that located his sister, who had moved to Texas.

After reuniting with his sister and siblings in Texas, Marc was reenrolled in high school. Marc again became disruptive in school and was expelled again. After he was expelled, his sister refused to care for him and kicked him out of the house.

Marc was homeless once again.

He stayed in shelters, slept in a bus terminals, and couch-surfed with friends. Marc admits that when he stayed with friends, he never told them he was homeless.

“I never wanted anyone to look at me and know that I didn’t have a place to live. Sometimes I would buy new clothes instead of food just to keep up appearances.”

Following being expelled from school and a period of homelessness, Marc was enrolled in a juvenile delinquency program which he admits was the only place where he had regular daily meals.

When Marc turned 18 he was released from the program. Using money he had just inherited from his mother, Marc moved back to Brooklyn.  During his time in New York, Marc lived with friends and rented rooms until he ran out of money. Then he was homeless again and lived on the streets in the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Marc admits to being engaged by homeless service agencies when he came back to New York, but he wasn’t ready to accept the help. He discharged himself at age 21 and traveled with a friend through various parts of the South, couch-surfing and hanging with what he admits was “the wrong crowd.”

After several months traveling, Marc came back to New York and spent the next 10 years couch-surfing and living on the streets. Marc frequented the Upper West Side staying near 106th Street and seeking shelter at bus stops.

In 2019, while living on the streets, Marc realized that he wanted help – he was tired of being homeless. He was engaged by Goddard Riverside’s outreach team and was given a room at an Urban Pathways’ Safe Haven.

Since coming to the Safe Haven, Marc has focused on improving his finances and preparing to re-enter the workforce. He recently graduated from Urban Pathways’ UPwards Career Enhancement program and he is eager to get a job. He is hopeful that he will get a job working on the Census this spring.

“Urban Pathways has helped me reclaim my life. The staff here makes me feel like I’m family and they have given me the tools and assistance that have helped make me the adult I needed to become.”