Vendor Profile: Marcus Green



Marcus Green wakes up on a typical morning and goes to grab a coffee. He might attend a meeting or go to Mass, which he does once or twice a week. Then the job hunt begins.

About four times a week, Green goes out job searching in the morning, looking for any type of work, from telemarketing to construction.

Green, a native of Southeast Washington, D.C., had a “typical life” until he got to high school. After graduating from Frank W. Ballou High School, he joined the military at the age of 19. Three years later, when the U.S. Army veteran came home, he began dabbling in drugs like PCP, cocaine and alcohol.

“I shattered some dreams,” he said. “But I’m back on path now.”

Green said he did not become homeless until about two years ago, when the firm he was working for, the Civic Development Group, was shut down. He had been there for four years and had worked his way up to assistant manager.

“I lost my job during the recession,” he said. “The whole office was closed. Street Sense helped me get
back on my feet.”

About 18 months ago, Green was over at Georgetown University doing work in sales. There he met a man who told him about Street Sense and the opportunities it offered. Green has now been with Street Sense for about 18 months and it has helped him recover from his job loss.

“You can pay some bills with it if you treat it like a job,” he said.

Green said he knew it sounded like a good opportunity and he wanted to get involved. Green knew that if he could get an income from his work at Street Sense, he would be able to afford a place to live. “The housing is disproportionate in Washington,” he said. “There is low-cost housing.”

Working as a Street Sense vendor has improved his life in many ways.

“I can buy a Happy Meal now every once in a while,” he laughed. “But really. I don’t have to ask people for money.”

Green also said he loves working as a vendor because it is a great way to net- work. “I get to meet people out there, and sometimes find out about other jobs,” he said. “I love working here for the income and the people.”

Right now, Green said that Street Sense provides him with his main source of income. This is something that he hopes to change very soon.

“My goal right now is to pass the ASE test for mechanics,” he said. “I would like to get a job
doing that, working on cars and buses.”

But even if this dream comes true, Green might still not be able to give up Street Sense altogether. He said he might still work as a vendor part time, maybe once or twice a week.

Green is proud of the way he has put his life back together.

“I’m not homeless anymore,” he said. “That’s a pretty good accomplishment.”

Issues |Jobs

Region |Washington DC

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.