Glenn Schlossberg has lived, worked, and built a multi-million dollar business in an industry, and city, that thrives on how well people dress and what the latest trends are. His social circle consists of many elite industry insiders, and he travels internationally both for work and play.
Schlossberg is arguably at the top of his game in a historically cutthroat industry that is notorious for building up designers one moment, only to force them “out” in the next.
Glenn Schlossberg and Jump Design Group have survived for decades in this competitive climate and continue to prove to be one of the leading middle-market fashion designers.
Schlossberg’s offices in the heart of the fashion district, his multi-million dollar home in Manhattan, and his remarkable car collection are all perfect examples of what it’s like to be in the upper echelon of New York society.
However, take a walk around the streets of New York, and it’s hard to miss those who are less fortunate—those who are living on the streets, blending in with the crowds, just another part of the scenery unseen to many.
That is until someone notices them.
Arnold Prince was one such person living without shelter, on the streets of Manhattan, floating in and out of lucidity, and addicted to hard drugs.
He was unable to pull himself out of the vicious cycle of street life. High highs and low lows. For a while, Arnold had been sleeping out by the green mailbox in front of the offices of Jump Design Group when Glenn Schlossberg, a man whom Arnold now calls, “his angel” first noticed him.
“It was a few days, maybe? I noticed him outside the office in the same spot,” recalled Glenn Schlossberg. “I asked him if he could help me bring some boxes upstairs.”
Who is Arnold Prince? And Why Is He Living on the Streets of New York?
In 1992, Prince had been living in New York for about two years. He was born and raised in South Carolina and moved with his mother to live in the Bronx.
Things were tough at home, and as a young adult, Arnold thought he’d fair better on his own. That’s when he began to roam the streets.
“I got into some bad stuff, you know. I was into some bad stuff. I hadn’t worked really during my entire life. I knew the streets, and that’s where I felt comfortable on my own. I’m a survivor,” he said. “ I don’t even know how I ended up sleeping on the streets of the fashion district at that exact moment. It was meant to be. God had a plan for me; I know it.”
The Beginning of a New Life
When Glenn saw Arnold sleeping in front of the Jump offices, he did what many other passers-by tend to avoid- put him to work.
“I made him carry some boxes upstairs and, I don’t know, I don’t think I realized what I was doing at the time, but I probably was testing him,” explained Glenn Schlossberg. “If this man could help me with these boxes, then maybe he’d be open to someone helping him in return. But if he just sat there, and told me to go screw off or something, then I’d know we’d have to move on. Instead, he hopped up and grabbed a box and helped me bring it in.”
“That’s when I knew we could help him. That’s when I knew he was open to it. At least, at first.”
After Arnold carried the boxes upstairs, Glenn asked Arnold to follow Glenn to his office. He asked his assistant take him to a barbershop, get him cleaned up, and then check him into a hotel where he could take a bath, and have a good night’s sleep in the warmth and comfort of his own space.
“This is New York, you don’t meet a person like that,” Prince recalled. “They made only one of Glenn, you know? You’re not gonna meet a person like that ever again in your life. I mean, if I could go back and tell myself what was about to happen I woulda said something like, ‘Arnold. Pay attention. This man is gonna change your life.’ I remember the way I looked back then,” Prince continued. “I’d see a person coming toward me, and I’d stop and run the other way. I was embarrassed by the way I smelled. Of the way I looked.
Without him stepping in the way he did, I’d probably be dead by now,” said Prince.
“I was going to that road. I didn’t know it, but he saw it. And when you’re headed toward death, sometimes there’s an angel somewhere that catches you and picks you up. That’s Glenn for me,” he said.
The Roller Coaster of Recovery
“After fixing me up for a bit, he checked me into Bellevue Hospital, and I went into my first round of rehab,” said Prince.
Prince spent time in the rehab facility and was released with the expectation that he would find a job, find a place to live, and start the process of re-assimilating into society.
But for many addicts, the dream of “normal” can quickly fade.
“Drug addicts are always at risk of relapse. And, in a way, at risk of letting people down,” Prince said. “The people that want to help you the most? They’re the ones you’re going to let down. And Glenn knew that. He knew I was gonna mess up. He knew it would take a while for me to get clean and to get off the streets for good. But, man. He always kept the window open and helped me feel like I could come to him and be seen and get better.”
“I told him he had to get himself together,” said Schlossberg. “I helped him get some recovery, and yet, at the first chance, he got to get his favorite drug, he grabbed it.”
“My weakness was snow,” Prince confesses. “I made one more run, and then I was so ashamed that I just stayed away from everyone for a while. Then I ended up seeing Glenn, and he asked what happened? I remember feeling like, damn. I messed up with my first chance that Glenn gave me.”
“I was disappointed,” said Schlossberg. “But I knew this was just the beginning of his recovery. I’ve learned that relapse is a normal part of the recovery process. Something like 60% of addicts will relapse after rehab. I knew it was just a part of it. But I certainly wasn’t ready to give up on him.”
Prince spent time in and out of rehab, and finally found recovery in 2009, seventeen years after he and Glenn had first met.
“You know, for a person that never indulged in drugs, Glenn can tell you what an addict will go through because he’s seen it through the experience of knowing me,” said Prince. “He was there the whole time. He can always tell someone down the line; I know what you want. I know what you’re trying to do. I was trying to help an addict for a long time, who wasn’t ready.”
“Even though I messed up,” said Prince, “He knew it wasn’t because I was a bad person. It was just that I wasn’t ready. He said, ‘Come see me when you’re ready.’ He knew I couldn’t handle the responsibility of getting sober at that time. This was in the early 90s. And yet, he knew I could do it someday. He closed a window, but he opened a door, you know? That was magic. Glenn is magic, man.”
Human Decency Comes Easily for Schlossberg
For decades, Glenn Schlossberg has worked with a variety of philanthropic organizations—each with their significant challenges and even greater rewards—but this was Schlossberg’s first experience witnessing the daily struggle of someone deeply troubled.
“I knew that I could help Arnold,” said Schlossberg. “I saw the potential. I knew this guy was worth more than a street corner in midtown Manhattan. He just got dealt a really bad card. I felt like I had to help him. It felt like the right thing to do.”
“Glenn looked at me, and he said, ‘Your mother didn’t raise you to be like this.’ He knew I was better than this. I’m forever grateful for that,” said Prince.
It took nearly two decades after that initial relapse before Arnold would be able to find the kind of recovery that has kept him consistently sober.
“I’m proud to say it’s been since 2009 that I’ve been clean. And it’s all because of Glenn,” said Prince.
“I see Glenn once in a blue moon, but every time I see him I’m proud to say, Glenn, I’m clean, man. And it’s because of you. You saved my life,” Arnold gushed. “I tell anyone who’s around him or anyone who’s listening, this man saved my life!”
Where is Arnold Prince Today?
Currently, Arnold lives in Queens with his wife who he credits Glenn for meeting.
“If Glenn hadn’t helped me, I would have never met my wife.” Arnold’s wife, Teresa, is herself a survivor, having beaten cancer twice.
“We’re both survivors. It’s part of why we work as a couple. Me with drugs. Her with cancer. We’ve been through it. We have each other, and I’m grateful for it. We lift each other up and help each other, you know?” said Prince.
“I met Teresa at a seminar, and it was one of those love at first sight things. I just knew. But if I hadn’t been on the right path to sobriety, if I hadn’t met Glenn, I would’ve never met her.”
The Lessons Learned Through Sobriety and Social Consciousness
Despite running away from Glenn in the past when he wasn’t sober, today when Arnold runs into Glenn, it’s always a happy reunion.
“You know he’ll just look at me and he’ll say, ‘You look good,’” recounts Prince. “It’s such a small thing but as an addict, to have someone tell you you look good? Glenn understands you know? He’s a man that understands.”
“And I look at him, and I think, man, you get it,” Prince continued. “It’s one of those things that people who struggle need, you know? Someone to see them. Someone to tell them they’re gonna be okay.”
“The day I left rehab in 2009, and from 2009 to now, I ain’t never felt so good in my life. I can walk up to Glenn and shake his hand, and he can look at me eye-to-eye. I’m proud of who I’ve become. And I can shake his hand without shame.”
Prince has dreams of pursuing his own fashion career, inspired, in part, by Glenn’s success. He also works with other addicts in recovery, to which he has one piece of sage advice:
“When a man like Glenn Schlossberg reaches out to you and says he wants to help you say you’re ready. Even if you aren’t. Because this opportunity may never come again and that’s the truth,” said Prince. “I’m a better man than I’ve ever been since I met Glenn.”