It is troubling to witness homelessness and poverty reach new extremes in our city. On any given day, you might see a dozen or more men and women on the street and in desperate need of help. With winter closing in, the stakes are as real as they get, and there is no quick fix in sight. There is, however, hope for the future if we continue to offer men and women a path to self-sufficiency.
A young ACE graduate named Franklin recently said to me, “Thank you for helping me remember that I matter.” I pass that message on to you today because it captures precisely the way in which you are helping homeless men and women in our city. By offering at risk and underserved New Yorkers work experience and job-readiness education, you are boldly telling them that their contributions to society matter that each one of their lives is important.
Since 1992, ACE partners like you have helped over 2,500 mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters, sons, sisters and brothers become gainfully employed and safely housed. Thank you for helping our fellow citizens gain the practical skills necessary to find and maintain full-time employment and housing. Homelessness may be far from defeated, but you have helped thousands of families rise above it.
If you are reading this now, it is because you share the belief that Franklin, the young ACE Graduate, matters. I am writing it because I want you to know that you matter.
For your past and continued partnership, you have my thanks.