Tai — “I’m a connector. That’s my gift.”

Tai Irwin, one of Pine Street Inn’s employment and stabilization specialists, is a member of the team placing our workforce development trainees in jobs following their graduation.

While Tai has been with Pine Street for five years, he didn’t start out in the nonprofit world. “Before this, I was on Boston radio for 25 years,” Tai says. “I love music and wanted to be in broadcasting.”

Tai’s turning point came when he hosted a talk show one Veterans Day. “One of my guests ran a support group for veterans — some of them homeless. Hearing their experiences changed my perspective on homelessness. It made me realize that we are all a couple of steps away from similar circumstances.”

Following his career in broadcasting, Tai became a career counselor with a local college. When that institution closed in 2017, he joined Pine Street. “I never forgot the lessons I learned 10+ years earlier speaking with that veteran,” Tai says. “I became passionate about helping those in need. It made coming to Pine Street a home run for me.”

“To be good at this job, you have to be good at building connections,” Tai says. “I’m a connector. That’s my gift. I build relationships that will ultimately help our trainees get a great job. Our work helps end homelessness.”

In closing, Tai adds, “People need to realize that just because they have become homeless, that isn’t the end of their story. Everyone deserves the chance to write their next chapter. We’re here to change lives.”