It's not every day we get access inside one of cities homeless shelters. I'm a little caught off guard because my host today, Secilly Aviles, has a level of expertise rarely seen. Aviles, a 26-year-old single mother of three, is part of an unusual paid internship and job training program at the 3rd Street men's shelter near the Bowery.
I am here to learn more about how the nonprofit Project Renewal is trying to get people on their feet. And feed a growing demand for quality staff members at one of their 5 shelters.
This is a typical day. Assigning beds, working the front desk, it is not meant for everybody. Turnover in these jobs is typically high. But with just 50 people through the program, the results are noteworthy.
For the last year, Aviles and her family have called an apartment in the Bronx home. When I asked what her ticket out was, she says persistence. She says she is hopeful, humble, happiest she has ever been.