This is a true story from one of the foster youth who have been part of our LifeStrengths coaching program. His name and minor details have been altered to protect his identity.
My name is Sean and when I was eighteen years old I was released from foster care and left to figure things out on my own. I was able to get into a Transitional Living Program (TLP) and got a job at a fast food restaurant. I ended up losing that job and couldn’t keep any of the next few jobs I found. As a result, I ended up losing my apartment.
I rotated between staying with a family member occasionally, being able to rent a motel room for a few nights here and there, and often sleeping in a tent wherever I could find a place to put it.
One day I saw a sign that another fast food restaurant was hiring. Even though I was mostly living in a tent at the time and assumed they wouldn’t want to hire me, I went in and asked for an application anyway. The manager asked me why I wanted to work for that company and I honestly told her it was so I wouldn’t have to sleep in a tent any longer. The manager asked me if I could start the next day.
Although I am now a manager, keeping this job in the beginning wasn’t easy. I would often walk 5-6 miles each day to get to and from work. Most nights I would have a place to sleep, but it wasn’t a guarantee. I have had family members help me with housing and I have been able to get promoted at work. Now I am living with an uncle and hoping to get a place of my own.
My LifeStrengths coach helps me see that there is a better future and works with me to plan for what I need to be successful. I am grateful for this program and am committed to doing the work to improve my life and my living situation.
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