10 Stories of HOPE: James’ Story
February 14, 2023
James has been coming to HOPE 4 Youth for nearly 18 months. He has been actively struggling with severe mental health issues, substance abuse/addiction, and has actively slept outside for extended periods of time. James slept outside as he had experienced traumatic violence in shelter situations as a youth and adult. Additionally, James has lacked family support, has a criminal record, and a handful of other barriers.
The last time a HOPE 4 Youth Case Manager saw James they had a long check-in about what his next steps would be because he stated: “I’m at the lowest point I have ever been and I don’t know if I can get through this”. A few days later, James checked himself into the hospital to detox and receive psychiatric support and an updated diagnosis. Three months later, James came in and reported he is over 100 days sober, is physically healthy, and completed both inpatient and outpatient treatment for both his mental health and substance abuse concerns. He is currently participating and living in a sober living program and will be moving to a more independent sober house. He stated:
“After we spoke, I realized that I wanted different for myself and I wanted to be able to help others the way you guys do here. I wouldn’t be sober today without the support I had from HOPE 4 Youth while I was at my worst. You guys kept me loved and fed. You guys never turned me away and I’m so thankful that I can come back and be the healthy man I know I can be with your support”.
James continues to work with his Care Team while he navigates what sobriety looks like for the first time as an adult. James shared that this is the first time in nearly 4 years he has had stable housing, a safe place to lay his head at night, and the first time he has been sober for more than a few days in almost 8 years. James is also working to get his charges for an event that happened during a mental health episode. He has successfully contacted a lawyer to have a few charges on his record expunged. He shared with us he has big dreams of becoming a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor but wants to get a few years of sobriety under his belt and have as clear of a record as possible before he adds more stress to his life. He also stated, “I know I’m not perfect and have messed up a lot, but I know I can do this now and I will not quit until I have the life I want”.
Our mission at HOPE 4 Youth is to provide pathways to end youth homelessness. James’ story is a great example of how important it is to us to provide youth with skills and resources to help them create the life they have dreamed about. James is no longer feeling defeated and hopeless. Instead, he is excited and hopeful for his future. James is experiencing HOPE!