For me, Seton Youth Shelters was more than a shelter, for a short period of time, it was home. I was homeless, and they took me in with no hesitation. While I was there they assisted me in looking for a job, and permanent housing.
At the time I was homeless, I was attending school to get my diploma in Medical Assisting. It was hard to attend school without anybody realizing that I was homeless without the proper hygiene. One day, a classmate of mine figured it out and started to help me out by calling some of the places that might take me in and decided that calling Seton Youth Shelters was worth a try. I was elated, and they admitted me the same night.
Throughout my stay there were rules I had to adhere to and it was not all that great to have to follow rules again, but I decided that it was better to have a place to stay with rules than to be living on the streets on my own. It was good to be able to talk to people about certain things that happened in my life that I otherwise would have just kept bottled up. To know that there were people that were in my corner as a support group was very heartening to me. They are like family to me; they made an everlasting impression on me.
Street Outreach was very helpful when it came to transportation, and when I really needed people to just listen and be real with me. That team is made up of some of the best people I have had the pleasure to cross paths with in my life. They allowed me to let down my barriers, and to trust them completely, which is something I have never done before.
I will never forget what they did for me for that period I was in the shelter and afterwards
After coming from another country at an early age and being raised by her mother into her teen years, Sara found herself in a cultural chasm after her mother was suddenly and unexpectedly no longer in the picture.
Assigned a guardian who never materialized, Sara found herself alone and forced to depend on the only custodial “parent” who would step forward. This relationship ended badly and she was brought to Seton Youth Shelters to figure out what to do next.
Once at the shelter, it was obvious to shelter staff that Sara’s cultural and sociological beliefs had isolated her from talking about most situations in her life and she was used to handling crises in solitude.
During group counseling at SYS Sara listened intently and began to realize that she was not alone in her troubles and that there were people out there who wanted to hear her story. It was during individual counseling that she finally was able to trust, form bonds, and open up.
Once these transformations began, Sara began to discover a whole new world. Through counseling and guidance from Seton Staff and encouragement from those around her, Sara became involved in extra-curricular activities at school and began developing a rich peer network. She became a source of support and advice for other shelter residents and even began volunteering in Seton’s Street Outreach Program.
Today Sara has been placed in a foster situation and is looking at colleges. Through her newly discovered empathic spirit, she hopes to become a legal advocate for youth who may find themselves in need of someone who understands their struggles.