Ignatian Volunteer Corps Newsletter, June 12, 2012
IVC Volunteer John “J” Langdon works as Program Coordinator for the Life Skills Training and Empowerment Program (L-STEP) in New York, which empowers individuals who have experienced homelessness to identify and pursue new paths toward more fulfilling lives.
The program’s core participant is someone who is homeless who is ready to set goals to move forward in his or her life. The program serves as a pathfinder to introduce participants to partner organizations to take them towards their goals, like job training and certification programs.
John shares the story of one participant. “[Terry] was a smart, handsome guy who had some college credits, but had spent time in prison. He wanted to get a degree. We connected him with the Educational Opportunity Center. We never knew if he followed up on it or not. Six or eight months later, my wife and I were out to dinner, and I got a text message from [Terry], saying that he was sitting in his first college class in 20 years thanks to L-STEP. We don’t have all the statistics, but these poignant anecdotes keep us moving forward.”