“Believing People Matter.”
It’s more than just a slogan. For our Program Director, Andrew Thomas, Jr., it’s the source of his passion for social services.
Andrew’s been active in the field for 17 years. He’s certified as a Qualified Mental Health Associate, and his background includes case management, housing, homelessness, mental health, art education, crisis prevention and intervention, and workshop facilitation. But Andrew brings so much more to Step Up than his qualifications. He brings dedication, vision, and heart.
Andrew became a part of the Step Up family back in 2006. Of course, back then, we weren’t called “Step Up” yet! In those days, our organization went by “Senior Living Options.” Our mission was a little different, too. Back then, we worked to promote the health, well-being, and happiness of senior citizens in our community.
We first met Andrew through his work in the Bronx nonprofit sector. He worked as a housing coordinator, providing housing placement assistance to low-income persons. In this capacity, Andrew became our community partner. He worked hard on behalf of homeless individuals and families. Andrew contacted folks in need of permanent housing, and accompanied them to placement interviews with our staff. He created an eight-week workshop series to help empower individuals to break the chain of repeated homelessness.
Andrew never stopped working to give individuals the insight and tools to move towards independence. Through the partnership between ADC and Step Up, Andrew became our Program Director in 2014. In this role, he’s pursued his belief in people. He’s worked hard to create an environment that provides regular access to community resources. With Andrew’s help, we’ve worked to enable residents to remain in safe, quality housing. And with Andrew’s vision, we’ve never lost sight of our guiding philosophy… that we are helping folks move forward in their own journey towards self-sufficiency, wellness, and security.
In case we should ever forget, Andrew made sure we’d have a reminder. He put it right into our logo, when he coined our slogan…