My name is Demaree Miller and I’m a Program Manager at At The Crossroads. I’ve been at ATC for three years and have had the privilege of working with clients who are some of the most intelligent, engaging, hilarious, and hard-working people I’ve ever met.
Personally, I’ve never believed in happy endings. I find that the narratives are too linear and that people often assume the story is over once it reaches a desirable conclusion. In my time with At The Crossroads I’ve seen people get shelter, housing, employment, and begin the journey to living long and healthy lives. Most importantly, I’ve also been with clients past the so-called happy endings. When you’re homeless or unstably housed in San Francisco, attaining the things you want is already difficult. Now imagine the added challenge of keeping them.
I’ve been working with Amati for around 2 years, but he’s been a client of ATC’s for much longer. What first struck me about him was how many different things he was juggling: coaching several youth sports teams, taking care of his family, and organizing community events. I often wonder how he makes time for his own well being in addition to being a rock for his community.
When I started meeting with him, we discussed obstacles around his living situation and employment. Fortunately, one day, things started lining up. He was able to sit down with us, work on his resume, and land the job he wanted. After that, a housing opportunity opened up for him.
Being housed doesn’t mean that Amati hasn’t faced challenges. Last year, one of his friends passed away because of gun violence. In response, Amati co-produced Stop The Violence, a huge event in the heart of the Tenderloin that was aimed at making a community commitment to end gun violence. The day before the event, their sound permit was pulled. Amati and his fellow organizers had to change the entire event – and it was still a huge success. To hear Amati share his story in his own words, check out his profile in the 20th-Anniversary Newsletter.
I don’t believe in happy endings. I do believe in moments of happiness. Pockets of time in between the challenges we face when you’re finally able to breathe. Our goal is to make these moments last as long as they can for our clients and to be there for them when they end.
Thank you so much for being a part of our community and making our work with youth on the streets possible. Please take a moment to listen to stories from our clients and community members in their own words. I hope you enjoy them and learn more about what ATC means to our clients.
Here’s to 20 years (and hopefully many more) of At The Crossroads!