Profiles of Success: Urban Farm Inspiration

Posted on 6/02/2011 by The Bridge

Stacey Joel Van Rossum was born in Brooklyn, and came to The Bridge in 2004 after a brief stay at Bellevue Men’s Shelter in Manhattan. He started in The Bridge’s Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Treatment Program (IPRT), which is now PROS, while attending Brooklyn College where he received a BA in History in 2007. While at The Bridge he also participated in the work stipend program, working in the computer room. 

After a few years working in the computer program, he began working in The Bridge’s Horticulture Program. He has been the primary blogger for the My Urban Farm blog since its start in 2008. During the Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks volunteer day in May, Stacey helped to supervise the volunteers and instruct them where to plant. Here is Stacey’s success story in his own words:
 “After achieving success gardening in my first year in the Horticulture Program, this stipend job became a paid job with an hourly wage. So I became a Bridge employee. While gardening I was encouraged to take a class at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx, NY, where I was certified as a Master Composter. I continue to volunteer at the NYBG from time to time and have accumulated approximately 60 hours of volunteer service.

I lived in a Bridge residence on East Houston Street in Manhattan, NY for approximately 2 years then moved into my current home in the Bronx, NY where I sub-lease an apartment from The Bridge. One of my problems during my hospitalizations and brief times in jail was a lack of communication on my part and The Bridge’s IPRT program helped me to realize that I need to speak to and communicate with people. I had been working since I was 14 years old so my work in the Bridge’s computer room and on the Bridge’s Urban Farm helped me further acquire necessary work skills.

I continue to grow as a man and my time at The Bridge helped me to better my life. Thank God.” – Stacey Joel Van Rossum

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