How a smiling face & a listening ear make all the difference

Arleen came to Harlem United as a temp in 2006. For the past nine years, the front desk on the second floor of 306 Lenox Avenue has slowly become her “home.” Arleen knows how to hold down the fort and she does so with grace and her signature easy going attitude. In fact, she is so valued here at Harlem United that she has been asked time and again to move into different departments, but each time she has refused.  

“The clients who come in here make my day. I could be having a bad day and one of my favorite clients will walk through the door and make it all better.”

Arleen’s first job out of High School was at a Footlocker. “I just wasn’t that outgoing personality you need in retail. I broke out of my shell when I came to Harlem United. It was the clients. They just needed someone to sit and listen and I became that person.” In fact,  Arleen jokingly describes herself as the “bartender” of Harlem United (without the liquor, of course.)

“I’m at the front desk all day so people come by and talk to me—vent. Clients, staff, everyone. I love being at the desk, I can just listen.”

Arleen has two kids, a girl who is 6 and a boy who is 18 and pursuing a degree in filmmaking. “He tells me he’ll be the next big director. I believe it.” 

Fun fact about Arleen?

She loves music and loves to dance!


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