Angelo first found out about At The Crossroads on Craigslist. After finishing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, he felt that something about his career path wasn’t right for him. When he saw ATC’s job posting for an Outreach Counselor position, he decided to apply on a whim. He went through the entire hiring process and was offered the position, but at the last moment, decided that he should stay on his engineering track. According to Angelo, he was the first person to turn down a job offer from At The Crossroads!
“We have trust in the community, ‘cause we’re out there four nights a week, and we don’t expect anything—there’s no asterisk, there’s no strings attached. And if people start to see that we’re out there in the rain, we’re out there rain or shine, and that means a lot to people.” -Abby, Outreach Counselor
While we were disappointed that he wasn’t going to be on staff, Angelo quickly joined ATC as an outreach volunteer. For ten years, he regularly went on nighttime outreach with counselors, becoming an important member of the team. Nowadays, Angelo works as a firefighter north of San Francisco. He no longer goes on outreach with ATC, but he still helps us every holiday season by donating toys for our clients.
According to Angelo, connecting with At The Crossroads changed his life. Even though he didn’t accept the Outreach Counselor job, volunteering with ATC helped him decide that the career path he was on was not for him. He realized that he wanted a job where he would be in the community, talking to people, and solving problems. Angelo decided to go to fire academy and become a firefighter, and the ATC staff supported him through the entire process. He says that his training at ATC has helped him be a better crisis responder, and continues to inform the way he works with people on the streets.
We invited Angelo to have a conversation with Abby, an Outreach Counselor at ATC. They talked about what makes ATC’s outreach unique and why candy packs are so important!