For years, David Berry called Penn Station his home. That's where BRC's Transit Homeless Outreach staff met him. Offering a hand up instead of a hand-out, these "angels in orange" listened intently to David, and built a trusting relationship. David wanted to change his life; but he wasn't ready to get sober. And not for want of trying, he couldn't manage the structure imposed by many shelters.
In March 2009, David accepted BRC's offer and hopped into the outreach van. He arrived at the Bowery Safe Haven, a program created by BRC for people like David. Though he battled major depression, David kept every appointment with his case manager. No longer living just to survive, and with a goal of finding a home, David sought sobriety. By the end of summer, he had completed his rehab program, stabilized his mental health, and was ready to move. In September 2009, six months after leaving the streets, he signed a lease for his own apartment. Today, David is a member of BRC's HomePlus program. He has his own one-bedroom apartment in the Fordham section of the Bronx. BRC staff come by, making sure his transition to independence continues smoothly; if he needs help, they're a phone call away. And in November, David obtained his commercial driver's license and found a job.
Today, David continues to live independently and go to work. And having his own address and a mailbox are critical, as David is again in his children's life.