YWS 30th anniversary series: Sean

I was 16 years old, scared, full of anger. I never felt so alone.

Sean’s relationship with his Mom was one of conflict. A single mom, Sean resented her, blaming her for his dad not being there. Because they were not getting along Sean at 16 moved into a rooming house. It was in the rooming house that Sean was introduced to crack, and his struggle with addiction began. “I’ve done things I am not proud of, sold my parents wedding rings, all for a fix.”

After a stint in rehab, Sean found his way to Youth Without Shelter (YWS): “I was 16 years old, scared and full of anger. I never felt so alone.” “It was scary on the streets alone, acting tough but I was alone.” The year was 1996.

That day was the beginning of the rest of my life. YWS took me in with open arms.” Sean struggled with the structure and rules of YWS and his addiction. Over an eight year period Sean was in and out of YWS multiple times. But the YWS Team never gave up on Sean. “They cared, they wanted to help. It was like you have all these parents pushing you to do good.” Sean committed himself to YWS’s programs participating in day programs (today’s Steps to Success Program): “I learned so much about myself during life skills. I eventually took over the kitchen on the weekends, making the most amazing brunches.”

Today Sean is an event planner. Recently Sean shared with the YWS Team that he has been accepted to the Child and Youth Care Worker Program at Humber College as a mature student. He would like to give back drawing upon his life experiences, and maybe do his student placement at YWS.

You can hear Sean share his story in the new 2016 A home for the holidays video

“Many things have changed since my last stay in 2004 but the one thing that never changes is the YWS vision: Ending homelessness, one youth at a time, one step at a time.”

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