The latest New Yorker of the Week is providing those in need a marketplace to get the help they're eligible for. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
After a childhood with challenges, Kyrie Philbrook is on her way to living her dream. She is transferring from Westchester Community College to New York University on a full scholarship.
"I started at WCC homeless, hungry and depressed, and I graduated happy, with a place to stay and a bright future," Kyrie says. "And there's so many other students that she has does the exact same thing for.”
She's talking about Elisabeth Mason. Elisabeth co-founded the nonprofit Single Stop in 2007. It connects people from low-income neighborhoods to existing but untapped services, all for free and all in one place.
"There are services out there that can actually help millions of families in this country get ahead, and that it's an ongoing tragedy that they simply don’t have the information or a way to get to them," Elisabeth says. "And it seemed to me, like, so obvious that somebody had to sort of take this on as a challenge."
So the Manhattan native did just that. Using a one-stop-shop model, the program fulfilled Kyrie's housing and medical needs.
Kyrie's challenge is one Elisabeth understands firsthand.
"I grew up in East Harlem in the '70s, when New York City suffered a lot of setbacks," Elisabeth says. "So from a very young age, the idea of leveling the playing field and just making it even was something that motivated me."
You can find Single Stop inside community colleges, food pantries, libraries and other institutions in the five boroughs. It's already made a difference in the lives of thousands of New Yorkers.
"If it wasn't for Single Stop, I would have had to drop out of school because at this point, I wouldn't have known, where should I go after this," says Sharmine Brown, who received help from Single Stop. "I didn't feel like there was any much hope."
"As long as Elisabeth Mason is at the helm, she will leave no stone unturned," says Deborah Harte, the Single Stop program director at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. "She will definitely get into any door that she needs to, because that's her passion."
It's a passion she's sharing one single stop at a time. That's why Elisabeth Mason is the latest New Yorker of the Week.
For more information about the organization, visit singlestopusa.org.