Clentel – Street2Feet Interview

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Clentel never thought he’d spend time in a shelter, but when a long-term relationship ended along with his permanent residence in Stroudsburg, Pa., he found himself in one. “I was living with my kid’s mom, and she decided she wanted to move to another state. I wanted to stay here, so I had to figure out my own way,” Clentel explained. “I was working at the ShopRite, and was living in a hotel nearby. After I got sick, I had to stay home from work and got behind in my rent. I eventually got kicked out of the hotel.”

After a few months of shelter living, Clentel found his way to RHD’s Street2Feet and is now back on his feet in his own home.

“I had a mental health counselor who helped get me an appointment at Street2Feet. When I met with them, it wasn’t about what they wanted me to do – it was them asking me what I wanted. I told them I wanted to get my own house. I didn’t want to have to ever worry about anyone putting me out.”

Clentel continued, “When I met with them in May, we set a six-month goal. I got back to work and started saving my money and I was out of there in four months. I moved into my own place on September 1. This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Street2Feet – the program was out there looking for landlords that were willing to work with me. It really helped.”

RHD’s Street2Feet Outreach Center is the only day shelter and outreach program for adults who are homeless or facing homelessness in Monroe County. Street2Feet is part of RHD’s Crossroads Community Services and, with the financial support of the Emergency Solutions Grant, serves the homeless population.

In addition to securing permanent housing, Street2Feet provides participants with other services, including payment of restoration fees for driver’s license renewal, referral and placement at the local Salvation Army Shelter, housing search, and referrals for financial assistance for move-in fees (including security deposit, first month’s rent, and furniture).

Clentel recounted the experience of seeing his new home for the first time, “When they got the room, the program manager was kind of nervous because she thought I wouldn’t like it because it was so small. But it didn’t matter how small it was; it was a place I could call home – without any strings attached. It was just my home. “

Site Supervisor Netoya Nevarez said, “Clentel is hard working, diligent, and a motivated individual that has integrity and is willing to take responsibility for his actions. He is going to be successful and is a great example of a Street2Feet participant that has actually made it from the streets to his feet.”

Now that he’s residing in his own home, Clentel will continue to receive services through the Street2Feet Aftercare program, which will provide ongoing support for six months to help bridge his transition.

“I was so thankful and blessed they went to the extent they did to help me. They demonstrated that they weren’t there for a paycheck; they really cared about me, and went the extra mile to help me,” Clentel concluded.

Clentel’s experience with Street2Feet was so rewarding, he now wants to share his story with others: “I just want to give back to the people that are suffering and going through what I went through. Maybe they can get some inspiration from my journey.”

For more information on Street2Feet: https://www.rhd.org/street2feet/