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From Homeless to Dream Job in a Single Year

Posted on December 6, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Check Out Jordan Levy’s NY Times Neediest Cases Profile

For Jordan Levy, a resident at Create, a homeless shelter for young men affiliated with Catholic Charities NY, the black “Horsepower” construction cap he wears everywhere except to bed represents the key to his future. 

Mr. Levy, now 24, explains how he wound up homeless and what the cap symbolizes to New York Times reporter Remy Tumin in this just-published Neediest Cases article.

“I was crying every day,” said Mr. Levy, now 24, says. “It ate me alive. I felt like it was my fault and was beating myself over the head on that.”

Just a few years before, Mr. Levy had been chosen as prom king at his Brooklyn high school, and he planned to go to college. But as graduation approached, his family’s financial problems came into focus.

“I didn’t really pay attention to the bad stuff at that time until I graduated high school and I realized that my mom really needs help,” he said. “I wanted to go to college, too, but honestly, I knew if I went to college, my mom was going to be really struggling. So I decided not to go.”

He worked at a series of minimum-wage jobs earning enough, but barely, to help his mom, a nurse’s aide, pay the rent.  But when she lost her job he wound up homeless. 

Fortunately, case workers at Create, a Catholic Charities NY-affiliated shelter in Harlem devoted to empowering the teens and young men it houses, connected Jordan to what he now says is his dream job, training to work as an electrician at Horsepower Electric, a Brooklyn-based construction company.

“I love my job and I love this company” he says.

He works so hard, arriving a half hour early every day and leaving an hour late, that his boss asked if he had a baby on the way.  Jordan said no and explained his situation. Soon his boss became his mentor.

Jordan began as an apprentice earning $15/hour.  Two months later he was promoted to a manager position with a $17/hour salary.  And he is about to get another promotion with an accompanying $19/hour salary. 

Best of all, he signed a lease this week to move into his own apartment.

Read Jordan’s full profile in The New York Times

Now, during the holidays, please help Jordan and others like him

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