“I’ve been put down all my life. I took that negative and turned it into a positive.”

Born in Brooklyn, 35-year-old Vanessa always thought of the holidays as just a season to survive. Diagnosed with PTSD stemming from childhood abuse, and in and out of foster care, group homes and psychiatric institutions for most of her life, Vanessa was unprepared to live on her own when she was discharged from her last psychiatric placement to Urban Pathways’ Residence at Hallet’s Cove, a supportive-housing program to help people like Vanessa transition to independent living and to prevent her from becoming homeless.

At Hallet’s Cove, and later at the Westside Cluster House, Vanessa created the life she wanted for herself. Our trained case managers helped her get the income supports she needed, instructed her in daily living skills and how to access community resources, and fostered a feeling of empowerment and self-worth that prepared her to overcome obstacles, take on new challenges, and break free of the cycle of institutionalization.

“The staff at Urban Pathways worked with me to be more patient, independent and they helped me be the woman I’m supposed to be.”

With the support of Urban Pathways’ staff, Vanessa was able to move into the Howard Amron House, permanent housing, earlier this year. Despite temporary setbacks arising from the coronavirus pandemic, she is now studying for her G.E.D. and plans to complete her Peer Specialist training in the spring of next year.

“Amron House isn’t my forever home, but it’s a good start in my situation, knowing that I still have support from Urban Pathways”


By Urban Pathways on November 19, 2020