This computer class is hard at work, while taking steps to get back to work. The students have overcome hardships to be here. Some used to be homeless; others like Anthony Antoine are in treatment programs.
“What they’ve helped me do here is prepare my resume, dissect it a little. Get it updated,” said Antoine.
The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless or ACE provides job training programs, work experience as well as counseling and mental health treatment.
“ACE is like a family. It applies to business side of the things but it’s a family thing. And they teach you not to ever give up on life,” said Delvon Sewer, a graduate of the ACE program.
ACE graduate Delvon Sewer now works in Long Island City cleaning the streets. He was once homeless, now he has an apartment and a new lease on life.
“It feels wonderful. I can’t complain, you know, I don’t do it for the paycheck. I just do it to put a smile on people’s faces because they like it,” said Sewer.
ACE recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and moved to a new headquarters in Long Island City. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer provides more than $100,000 in funding for the group, to employ street cleaning workers in his district.
“We’re training; we’re providing jobs, providing income, providing stability and actually working one-on-one with these individuals, who are well on their way,” said Van Bramer, who represents the area.
Organizers say Long Island City is the perfect location for the new headquarters because of nearby employment opportunities and more space for programming.
“People know that they are welcome here and that the space kind of echoes that. Plus it gives us the opportunity to have movie nights and different events for our graduates,” said Elizabeth McNierney, the director of programs for ACE.
Video and report courtesy of NY1