Marcellus takes a selfie of himself ready for work.
Marcellus was born and raised in Los Angeles with seven siblings. He lived with his father till the age of six, and said this time of his life was “good.” However, his father died of cancer when Marcellus was six and he went to live with an emotionally and physically abusive mother. Subsequently, when Marcellus was 14, he and his seven siblings were placed in separate foster care homes. After living in three different foster care homes that did not supply proper food or care, he aged out when he turned 18 and was on his own. He was able to obtain housing independently until the age of 20 when he was laid off from his job. Because he could not pay rent, he went on to experience three years of homelessness in the Hollywood and Downtown area of Los Angeles. His journey to housing began when Step Up’s Recovery, Resilience and Reintegration (RRR) teams found him and helped him get an apartment at Michael’s Village, one of Step Up’s permanent supportive housing developments in Hollywood.
Marcellus has now been housed for over two years and has been working on pursuing his goals of passing the Hi-Set (a high school equivalency diploma). “ I’m grateful to Step Up for helping me get off the streets. Now I have a place to live and pursue my goals.” Marcellus said living on the streets was rough going and it was impossible to work or go to school with such instability. He is now motivated to follow his dream to be a peace officer or sheriff. To join the police academy, you must be able to run a mile and have two years of college so Marcellus has been training on his days off running up to 8 miles at once. Currently working a full-time job as a security guard from 3pm to midnight, he then studies from midnight to 4am when he gets off his shift. He has now completed and passed everything except for English and Algebra. After he takes the Hi-Set he plans to attend LACC to take administration and justice as his next step towards getting into the police academy.
Marcellus works closely with two Step Up team members who are supporting him on his journey: Education Specialist Andrea Garcia and RRR Service Coordinator II Elena Burdick. Andrea Garcia has provided him with a computer that Step Up purchased for him via CSS (Client Supportive Services) Department of Mental Health funds that has helped him navigate school in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marcellus said, “Andrea helped me get into contact with the adult school and find the teachers and guided me.” He mostly reads non -fiction consequently, he just finished reading a book about Fredrick Douglass, the abolitionist, which he found quite inspiring. SC2 Elena Burdick shares, “The Triple R team believes in Marcellus and cannot wait to see his future evolve!”