J.C. is 19 years old and came to Sunrise Drop-in-Center in November 2012.
Prior to being referred to the Drop-in-Center by his assistant principal, J.C. lived on the streets of the Bronx for over 30 days. J.C. survived by living on park benches and sleeping on the subway. He sold newspapers to buy food and necessities.
While living on the street, J.C. continued his education as a senior in high school. J.C. did not let his living conditions stop him from earning a high school diploma. J.C. states that he survived the brutal winter by just trying to make the best of a bad situation. He was asked to leave his parents home and had no extended family or friends to turn to for support.
The Holiday season was tough for J.C. but he found support in the form of the Drop-in-Center. When J.C. came to Sunrise Drop-in-Center, he was shy and timid and was afraid to ask for help. J.C. struggled with mental health problems and needed to be placed on medication. Encouraged by a supportive staff and his peers, J.C. started to open up and trust his drop-in-center community.
Less than a year later, J.C. now sees the drop-in-center staff and members as “family.” At present date, J.C. has overcome his obstacles and has made great strides to improve his current situation. He is an active member of the center and utilizes all of the staff support and services. He has graduated high school and recently applied for the Vesid program. At the drop-in-center, J.C. regularly attends individual counseling, participates in weekly groups and has reconnected with his family.
Working with the Community Connections Coordinator, J.C. applied for supportive housing and was accepted, he will be moving into his new home very soon.
Call (718) 993-7700 ext. 804 or email FLardo-Dimarco@cmcs.org to find out more about the Sunrise Drop-In Center.
Note: Names and images have been changed to protect the identity of those we serve.