JohnCarusoMissionMoment | West Suburban YMCA

Mission Moment: Making A Difference at Newton Corner Place

Mar 05, 2021

Newton Corner Place (NCP), the Y's single occupant residency housing for formerly homeless men, is the only development of its kind in Newton and provides a critical landing spot for residents in all stages of their life. Throughout the pandemic, the Y has helped support the residents to ensure their health and safety through education, PPE, enhanced cleaning, and partnerships with Community Cooks and the Rotary Club of Newton to provide nutritious food. Guiding our efforts in NCP is Resident Services Coordinator, John Caruso, who shared what NCP means to him.

"The West Suburban YMCA has always been an integral, safe, and influential place in my life. Being a Newton native, I remember playing in the YSL basketball league as a young boy, working as a camp counselor for Camp Pikati as a teenager, and seeing all the staff’s friendly faces throughout the facilities. In November of 2019, I began my role as Resident Services Coordinator for Newton Corner Place; a completely new endeavor and perspective at the YMCA.

NCP offers affordable subsidized housing for formerly homeless men, and through this I have developed a relationship with some of the most wise, compassionate, wholesome, and downright funny individuals. Each of the 27 residents at NCP are individuals that have stand-out traits, teach me something new everyday, and most importantly, reinforce my passion to help others. Whether it’s Ricky making others on the floor laugh with his classic punchlines, Anthony blowing my mind with his elite historian knowledge, or Blair stopping by my office to have a simple conversation and see how I am doing, every day at work is a rewarding experience.

I think the biggest impact that NCP has is the de-stigmatization of the homeless population, and the mental fortification that we are all humans who deserve to be treated equally. When I see a resident interacting with a fellow member, laughing with a Y employee, or asking for fitness advice from the trainers, I am reminded that we are, as a whole, making a difference. When I graduated from Boston College, I knew that I wanted to work with people that shared the desire to help others, and create change. The YMCA and Newton Corner Place have given me the ability to do so, and I find it extremely rewarding to be working with such like-minded people. Newton Corner Place serves the YMCA’s mission and vision; while every day can feel like a new experience, the one constant is that we are making a difference in someone’s life."