Volunteer Education & Training: The State of Homelessness in NYC, What We Have Been Doing and What We Can Do to Address It
We cannot walk down a New York City street without seeing homelessness in New York first-hand, and to many, it seems as if this population is increasing. In an effort to better understand the state of homelessness in New York City, the Volunteer Education and Training committee welcomed Urban Pathways Director of Development, Nancy Olecki and Chief Compliance Officer Ariana Saunders on Tuesday, November 1 to share their experience and insights. These speakers addressed the instance, impact and effect of homelessness, efforts to address it and how we can help—especially, as the winter months loom just around the corner.
Urban Pathways, as a data-driven and innovative leader, ensures that homeless and at-risk New Yorkers have the housing, services, and support they need to be self-sufficient. The group’s vision is to be a leader in creating a society in and around New York City in which our clients achieve and sustain independence, stability, and wellness as fully integrated members of their communities.
Nancy and Ariana shared important statistics about numbers and make up the more than 60,0000 homeless in New York City, those among the working poor, suffering from substance abuse, or mental disorders. In sharing what Urban Pathways is doing to address these issues, they emphasized that their goal is to engage individuals “where they are at.” To help them feel settled into a stable environment, even if only temporary, to give them the confidence that will hopefully help lead them to a permanent home. Nancy and Ariana provided simple and practical, yet important, ways that members can help, including advocacy, social media outreach, and providing an outreach card in lieu of change to the homeless providing a connection to assistance through Urban Pathways.
The speakers’ passion for their work was self-evident and created an engaging presentation. Our sincere thanks to both Nancy Olecki and Ariana Saunders for taking the time to educate us on a subject important to both NYJL volunteers and all New Yorkers.