EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Every year, a handful of organizations are selected to receive funding through the Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser. Now in its 20 year, the big event will help four non-profits that serve Monroe County.
The Pocono Television Network is showing us each organization’s role in their community. First up, “Street2Feet.”
Chris Crossan will never forget becoming homeless at age 51, living under this bridge and then in a tent in East Stroudsburg.
“It’s rough, cold, wet,” Crossan explained.
Prior to 2021, Crossan says life was good. He was a longtime chef living with his mom as her caretaker. Once she was diagnosed with dementia and moved into a facility, they had to sell their home to pay for her care.
“Never in my life did I imagine I would be homeless,” Crossan explained.
Crossan founded “Street2Feet” in East Stroudsburg, the Poconos’ only daytime resource center for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The newly renovated day center is a safe place to get out of the elements, take a shower, do laundry, plus search for jobs and apartments. Case managers also help them obtain important documents such as a photo ID, social security card, and birth certificate.
“It’s the entire reason we do this work, to help people get back on their feet. Because we are all one major life event away from being in a similar situation,” said Street2feet Outreach Center RHD Director Leslie Perryman.
Clients can also receive same-day pay and get job experience by picking up trash in Monroe County through Pocono 3C.
Since the program’s inception in 2019, participants have collected nearly 15,000 bags of litter.
“We’ve had so many people move forward to full-time jobs, become housed in a variety of situations, have been able to pay bills and fines. To really help them get back on their feet, hence our name,” Perryman explained.
After nine months of homelessness, Crossan now lives in transitional housing and has a steady job back in the kitchen as a line chef at a Pocono Resort.
“I cook food for 500 to 700 people every night. And I’m loving every minute of it,” Crossan said.
Crossan’s mom recently passed away, but he knows she would be proud of his progress, no longer under the bridge and coming out on top.
“Absolutely. The future looks bright right now,” Crossan added.
With funding from the 20 Annual Pocono Mountains Community Fundraiser, Street2Feet will continue its mission of helping the homeless.
28/22 News is a proud sponsor of the big event on September 20 at Mount Airy Casino Resort.
That’s when we’ll learn just how much each organization is receiving as the fundraiser hopes to hit the $3,000,000 mark of total money raised since 2003.