Unhoused In New York

Unhoused in NYC and How You Can Help:  Community Engaged Learning students and their experiences working with service providers 

December 1, 2022 McShane Campus Center

This panel discussion at the Rose Hill campus brought together Fordham undergraduates volunteers and with dedicated local service providers at the front lines, offering their passionate testimony during today's conversation, discussing the stark realities of houselessness in NYC and what the Fordham community can do to help. 

The Fortune Society highlighted the event in their newsletter in December 2002.

Here are remarks from Fordham student Jessica Clouser, included in the newsletter:

"Hello, my name is Jessica Clouser. Over the course of this semester, I have been doing
engaged learning work at the Fortune Society. As a volunteer, I performed data entry for
Fortune Society's housing department, which assists individuals with justice involvement,
and their families experiencing homelessness, through supportive and affordable housing.
Specifically, I entered service plan reviews for clients living at Fortune's new supportive
housing site in the Morrisania neighborhood of the Bronx.

While entering these service plan reviews, I was able to read about developments happening
in various clients' lives. This led me to reflect on the idea of "progress" and how healing,
especially after reentry from incarceration, is not a linear process. Some clients seemed like
they were on track to be "success stories," and others were faltering in reaching their goals,
but their case managers remained nonjudgmental, supportive, and encouraging regardless
of where they were in their recovery journey. Fortune is genuinely invested in not only
maintaining the safety of clients, but also in fostering community. I noticed that many case
managers encourage their clients to join activities and events that take place in the building
in order to build interpersonal and social connections, essential components in maintaining
or improving one's mental well-being.

Something that I especially admire about The Fortune Society is that the staff members treat
their clients with respect; as people with individual desires, and needs, rather than as
problems to be fixed or disappeared. I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with an
organization like Fortune Society that is so genuinely supportive of its clients and is helping
to alleviate the harms of the incarceration system."