When a family runs the risk of eviction or a head of household loses his or her job, it’s Spicer’s job to get them back on track. But that doesn’t just mean finding his clients new jobs.
“It means making sure their kids are still going to school. That their family is getting the medical care that they need. That they’re eating. That there’s no violence in the household, drug abuse or mental health issues,” says Spicer. “It’s a lot.”
What keeps the Staten Island native going?
“I like helping people. I like seeing them get back to self-sufficiency,” says Spicer. “I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing people reach their potential.
Spicer acknowledges a hefty rate of recidivism in his line of work – clients who are unable to turn their lives around for one reason or another. Though the hurdles in seeing a client toward self-sufficiency can be disheartening, he says he tells his co-workers: “Take it one day at a time. Don’t burn yourself out on one simple problem.”
Spicer stresses the importance of empathy. “I tell people not to get too upset over clients who’re hostile because of what they’re going through. If we really sit down together, we can usually find a solution.”
When he does retire, Spicer plans to volunteer his time to help his community and stay in touch with co-workers. Whether he’s in the office or not, he has no plans to stop giving back.