People & Places

Vermont Conversation: Trading fame and fortune to work with Vermont’s homeless youth

Mark Redmond, executive director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services, has written a new memoir, Called. Courtesy photo

The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman is a VTDigger podcast that features in-depth interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers and citizens who are making a difference. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Spotify to hear more.

Mark Redmond was on a glide path to success. Fresh out of Villanova University, he landed a plum job with a major insurance company and had a cushy apartment on Park Avenue. Money, status and job security were all firmly in his grasp.

Then he walked away and left it all behind.

Redmond moved into Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth located in Times Square, described by Rolling Stone at that time as “the sleaziest block in America.” His pay was $12 per week.

Redmond writes in his new memoir, Called, “It was a radical change, a case of on one day wearing a Brooks Brothers suit, walking down Madison Avenue, entering the stately international headquarters of the venerable Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, attending to meeting about types of insurance policies and pension plans, and a few days later wearing jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt, walking past porn places and strip clubs to enter Covenant House, where I’d be helping homeless teenagers.”

“I felt I was finally where I belonged,” Redmond reflects.

Since 2003, Redmond has been executive director of Spectrum Youth and Family Services, which provides housing and support services for homeless, at-risk, and foster-care youth in Vermont. He has also been a storyteller on The Moth. His wife, Marybeth Redmond, is a Vermont state representative from Essex. Redmond talks about his four decades working with troubled youth and telling their stories.

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David Goodman

About David

David Goodman is an award-winning journalist and the author of a dozen books, including four New York Times bestsellers that he co-authored with his sister, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. His work has appeared in Mother Jones, New York Times, Outside, Boston Globe and other publications. He is the host of The Vermont Conversation, a VTDigger podcast featuring in-depth interviews about local and national topics. The Vermont Conversation is also an hour-long weekly radio program that can be heard on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on WDEV/Radio Vermont.

Email: [email protected]

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