Behind The Mission: Robert “Malik” Sibley
You’ll probably never encounter Robert (a.k.a. Malik) Sibley on a day without his gregarious smile and a colorful fitted ball cap. If you ask him why he is so happy, he’d say, “Because I know what bottom looks like”.
After serving in the Army from (1984 to 1989) as a 72 Echo, Infantry Support Telecommunications Operator, Malik found himself on the streets addicted to Crack for 12 years. Although tragic, he believes, that experiencing that lifestyle was an extension of God’s work, which led him to where he is today. “I lost a lot, but what I missed the most, was my mind. Everything else I pretty much gave away, but when I felt like I had lost my mind that was the turning point for me,” Malik explains.
An act of higher power is what he believes led him to SHC three years ago. Currently, as the Program Coordinator at McCreesh Place, he follows a person-centered approach to helping our recently homeless neighbors regain their footing. He looks at incremental changes as a measure of success, focusing on their healthy progression towards increased safety, stability, and reaching their personal goals. “It’s important to respect their boundaries to develop trust.”
Gaining new perspectives every day from interacting with the residents and being of assistance is what Malik enjoys the most about working at SHC. Being conscious of his own story makes him empathetic to their circumstances. For him, this is a second chance to give back unconditionally. “How dare I not be grateful,” he humbly utters.
In his leisure time, Malik is a photographer and Chicago Detroit Stepping Dance Instructor. But we cannot end his story here on this last day of National Alcohol Awareness Month without congratulating Malik on earning his 22nd-year chip for being clean and sober as of July 2021!