YWS 30th anniversary series: Mike

He desperately needed a place to stay, and more immediately food and a bed.  He was at a turning point in his life, having been homeless for much of his teen years, calling the street home, and in and out of shelters and jail.  A phone call brought him to Youth Without Shelter.

“You’ve given me hope.  Through the housing worker, Laura’s tremendous amount of help I have been able to secure housing.  Never having acquired housing before, the process seemed foreign and daunting.  I thought finding housing impossible after all my failed attempts.  Throughout my search at YWS I always had someone to go to with problems, someone to coach me for calls to landlords and to tell me all the right questions to ask. After living in shelters so long the concept of living on my own was kind of scary but knowing I’ll have on-going support once I’m on my own gives me the confidence I need to be successful.

For years I’ve been just credits away from completing high school, yet without the knowledge of how to get myself registered.  It has always seemed so far away.  Now with the help of my case worker, Emme I’ve obtained my high school credit transcript and will be beginning school at an adult learning centre.  Now I believe I may have a shot at the normal life, I’ve been dreaming of since my life started going downhill.

The programs at YWS are so helpful in building a productive life.  Daily we have workshops covering a huge range of subjects from housing and employment to hygiene and laundry.  Everything one needs to function taught in creative and fun ways to learn.  Another program taught is substance abuse which is amazingly helpful to those with abuse problems and has hook-ups with more in-depth counseling. Now the best program I’ve seen by far is being brought out for a night to Cirque du Soleil.  That had to be one of the funnest times of my life.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me.  And to all of you who contribute to Youth Without Shelter in any way I have no way to express my gratitude to you other than to say you do more than build lives you save them.” (Mike)

Where is Mike now?  In late September Mike moved out to his own place not far from the shelter.  He regularly checks in and shares his cooking adventures with the YWS Team.  Mike is working closely with the YWS Employment Facilitator to secure part-time employment.  He is back in the classroom finishing up high school.  Mike now has his sight set on getting to college to complete a Pre-Welding Certificate Apprenticeship Program.

November 2012

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