Buzzfeed News: Homeless Shelter Staff Are Saving New York’s School System


October 29, 2020

Some days, the calmer days, Tiffany Malcousu will stay home and work remotely, her 12-year-old son on his laptop at the other side of the dining room table, pretending he and his mom are coworkers.

She got them a Keurig machine recently and he loves working it, pushing down on the lever and watching the steam rise. Most mornings he’ll make his mom a cup of coffee while she makes him hot chocolate, and they’ll sit and drink it together as they start their work. Sometimes, when he doesn’t have class, he’ll put a blanket down under the table and take a nap at her feet as she types and takes Zoom calls.

Other days she’ll get an urgent call and have to rush out of the apartment, just after waking her son for virtual school, and drive to whichever of the 11 homeless family shelters she works with that need her most that day. Her gas and E-ZPass bills have gone way up during the pandemic, and she feels like she’s perpetually pumping gas into her car, watching the numbers rise.

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