YWS 30th anniversary series: John
“Homeless to fullness” are the words John chooses to describe his stay at Youth Without Shelter. “When you hit rock bottom the only way is up.” John found himself homeless. A family situation had reached such a stressful point that he felt he had no choice but to leave home.
Each night John would ride the subway until it would shut down and then move to a local fast food restaurant until the morning came. When John needed clean clothes he would wash them at a friend’s house. A youth worker at the breakfast program where John was volunteering told him about Youth Without Shelter.
John quickly focused on accessing the resources available at the shelter and developing his goals for the future. Working with the YWS employment facilitator he was to able continue his participation in an employment program. “The transit fare provided was a life saver.” John’s advice to youth “YWS has so many supports to offer you. But it is you who must take the steps to make the changes in your life.”
John’s stay at YWS was not a long one. Within weeks he found a place to live through the housing program. Today John is employed full-time in a business doing a little bit of everything: administration, accounting, inventory, and logistics. “I am a product of YWS. Yes I did the actions, but you were there with the supports.”
In 2015 John told his story through the YWS A home for the holidays video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLGp6IfsjOU At the breakfast where the video was premiered John shared:
“They call us unmotivated, they call us lazy, they call us unproductive. But guess what, you can call me John! And I have a mission. My mission is to help others create an impact and leave a legacy that inspires generations to come. Since I left the shelter I’ve been working on an online platform for social innovators to connect people who are like-minded who are interested to invest their time, energy and resources to social projects. It is like crowd funding meets LinkedIn. I’m not mad, I’m just passionate. I challenged myself now I want to challenge you to do something that was written about or worth writing about.”