“If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.”
Joe graduated from NYU with a bachelor’s degree and built a successful career before experiencing homelessness. After financial hardships and a health complication, Joe found himself washing and maintaining his appearance in public bathrooms, struggling to tell his friends about his situation, and eventually transitioning to shelter living.
“Prior to experiencing it, I stereotyped it.”
Since moving to a shelter, Joe’s perspective on homelessness has changed. He sees firsthand how people in shelters often already have jobs or are actively looking for work. He sees how something as simple as cleaning oneself is not always easy or readily accessible. And he also knows how hard it is to get someone to make eye contact, let alone listen. His advice to anyone who needs help seeing the full picture?
“Come out and volunteer—just for one day—your whole perception will change.”
Joe currently lives in a shelter and is dedicated to using his experience to advocate for others and give back to those who don’t have the same resources as him. You can stay connected to him through his personal Facebook and his friends at City Relief.