UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Katie Burns started her career helping others and volunteering three years ago as a “person in recovery” herself and says that her journey has just continued on from there. Her passions in life are working with the homeless and people struggling with mental health and substance abuse and her goal each day is to help at least one person.

“Katie overcame her own personal struggles & demons years ago & turned her experience into a way to give back. She organizes & works on countless fundraisers & givebacks for these & other organizations for the less fortunate throughout the area. Through the height of COVID as well, always there for a friend or stranger alike & gives back endlessly. Truly a remarkable woman” – Paige Whitted, Nominator

Kaite is currently working as the Coordinator of the Center for Family Life and Recovery. She describes her work there as being a “boots-on-the-ground, all-weather role. She helps by bringing people to rehab, helping them get cell phones, going to DDS, going to groups, doing arts & crafts, and holding movie nights. The goal is to give families and the community a ‘safe place’ to recover, free of shame.

Kaite also volunteers at the Morrow Warming Center & ICAN and assists at the Salvation Army. She feels that it is great to be a part of something larger than herself, but feels the homeless population receives a lot of negative attention.

“People know we have a homeless population but prefer not to see the homeless population and the Warming center receives a lot of “negative flak” for helping them. That’s okay because I’ll be their voice for them until they find on. So, I’ll stick up for them and meet them where they’re at every single day and I’ll continue to do so until hopefully, we find a solution.” – Katie Burns

We asked Katie if she had any ‘words of wisdom’ for people who may be struggling or in recovery and she said,…

“It’s never too late. It’s never too late to want to start over. It’s never too late to give yourself the chance and the opportunity to overcome this. You’re not alone, we’re here for you, I’m here for you. Multiple people in the community are here for you and when you’re ready, I’m ready for you.” – Katie Burns