I aged out of the foster care system on my 18th birthday. With no parents, family or guidance I was on my own. Without the future in mind, my life was headed down a dead-end road. I was living from couch to couch, in and out of my car. In need of shelter, food and clean clothes, I came to the YMCA, looking for a chance to change my life.
I was given information on drop-in centers where food was served, showers could be taken, and I had a safe place to be. I moved into YMCA housing, was able to clean my clothes and prepare myself for job interviews. I got a job at South Seattle Community College, where I'm also taking classes and working toward a degree.
Being homeless hurts your pride. To have people around at the Y, who are so helpful and friendly, made me feel that rising from this trial was not impossible. The Y taught me responsibility and restored my dignity. To think that I am in college now is something I never thought possible.