Mason Wise Service Reflection

I researched homelessness with addiction and mental illness in New York City. The majority of the homeless population in NYC struggles with an addiction and/or a mental illness. My group chose the Bowery Residents Committee, or BRC for short, as our non-profit organization. BRC is one of the only organizations, if not the only one, that specifically targets addiction and mental illness with homelessness. They believe that mental illness and addiction go hand in hand with homelessness, and to decrease the homeless population they have to help the ones who struggle with these problems.
This project affected my view of homelessness in NYC greatly. I never realized how big of a role addiction and mental illness play in homelessness. Our site visit at BRC was very informative and eye-opening. Muzzy Rosenblatt, the Executive Director of BRC talked to us for a long time about this problem and how they help their clients with it at BRC. He told us that the staff tries to form relationships with the clients. He also told us stories about present day BRC clients and how he helped them get their lives together. We took a tour of BRC. There were many bright colors on the walls, and it seemed like a very happy place. We visited the offices, and were able to meet and talk to some BRC clients in the art room and the cafeteria. They all seemed very glad to meet us and be clients of BRC. Actually meeting the people who struggle with this problem was the most rewarding part of the project.

One thought on “Mason Wise Service Reflection

  1. Mason, what a fascinating and extremely worthwhile service project. It sounds like it’s a window into a whole new world. I love that you were able to meet with some of the clients and show them the respect of being interested in them. I have heard people say more than once that homeless people are just “lazy,” and this always shocks me. There is a real need for more people to understand the way that mental illness and addition create situations where people are unable to maintain a home. Thank you for giving your time and compassion to this important cause.

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