Wayne, an 18 year old African American male came to Indianapolis with his mother and younger sister in February. The Chicago job market was gone and affordable housing options limited. Without a prospect on the horizon, Wayne’s mother decides to take her chances in a new place and moved the family from Chicago. Without a job or a place to live, the only option for the family was an emergency shelter. As a single 18 year old, unemployed high school drop-out Wayne was not eligible to stay in the family shelter in which his mother and sister were accepted. The emergency shelter staff told Wayne and his mother about Stopover and they called immediately. After determining that Stopover was a good fit for their situation, Wayne entered the program with the ultimate goal being to to reunite with his family as soon as possible. With the help of the case manager, he identified steps he needed to take to make this happen. Wayne knew that completing his education would help him to find a better job in the future and decided to begin with obtaining his GED. Within a few days he applied for and was accepted in to the River Valley Resources GED program. Wayne also wanted to financially contribute to the family and began an intensive employment search right away. With the right attitude and mind set, he was quickly hired on at a local warehouse. Within a few short weeks, Wayne was able to earn enough at his new job to assist his mother in obtaining housing. He has now completed his goals and is now reunited with his mother and sister in a place of their own.
Tommy is a 20 year old, Caucasian male. He came into the Transitional Living Program in March 2012. He was referred by the school social worker. He was diagnosed with depression after being a client at Columbia Behavioral Health Center and Valley Vista. He moved with his mother and because of their challenging relationship there were problems. He remembers when he was younger his mother called the school and told them that she did not want him anymore. His mother was charged with abandonment, so he and his sister went into foster care. He eventually lived with his father until he was 13 years old and his father passed away form stomach cancer. He was very angry at that time and started stealing. After Tommy moved in with his mother, he had issues because she was living off of his and his sister’s social security benefits and when he turned 18 she was planning to kick him out.
Tommy’s goal was to graduate from high school and enroll in school at Vincennes University. He also wanted to obtain employment. Tommy stayed in the program for three months, he accomplished a lot of goals while in the program, he obtained employment, he graduated from high school, he raised his grade point average, he received a scholarship for college and he was accepted into Vincennes University.
After graduating from high school, he moved back in with his mother. he obtained employment at Scotty’s Brewhouse for the summer. He then moved to Vincennes, Indiana to prepare for college. He is presently attending the college; he is the manager for the basketball team, he is on the bowling team, and is also working through the work study program.
19 year old Stacia came to the Transitional Living Program in late 2012. Since her mother’s passing at age 6, she has bounced around between relatives as she struggled to cope with this significant loss at such a young age. Issues with her step-mother and a history of sexual assault and abuse had hardened Stacia and made connecting with other very difficult. She had lost hope and was drifting farther away by resorting to spice and had even attempted suicide.
Stacia is a true survivor. Despite the trauma she has faced, she is musically gifted and plays the piano, clarinet, flute, and saxophone. She has mastered Japanese and is interested in art and cooking. Stacia needed a place where she could relax, be herself and focus on her goals for a better future.
While residing in the Transitional Living Program, Stacia was able to receive and accept the support and encouragement of the case manager, house managers, and fellow residents – something that was not possible in her prior living situation. She worked with her case manager to create goals that included continuing her education, employment and moving into her own apartment. She was able to save a portion of her earnings, develop a budget and, in January 2013, moved into her very first apartment!
Stacia continues to participate in Aftercare services and checks-in with her case manager regularly. She remains employed and has even received a promotion, continues to budget and save and hopes to one day serve our country in the United States Marine Corps.
For Stacia, Stopover was able to provide the safe, secure and supportive environment she so desperately needed to start the healing process and get her life back on track.
18 year old Jack came to Stopover in November of 2012 to get a fresh start. He and his younger brother and mother were living with her new boyfriend and he had become abusive to his mother and him. Jack had recently told his family he was gay and this was too much for mom’s boyfriend to handle. Jack’s mom wasn’t ready to leave the relationship but she wanted to find a safer place for her oldest son. She found the Stopover Transitional Living Program through the website and called to find out more. After talking to staff and the case manager, she determined this might be a good fit and encouraged Jack to call.
Jack and his mother met with the case manager to learn more about the program and after completing an application and interview, Jack moved into the house. Jack was excited to have the opportunity to be himself and to learn the skills he would need to someday live independently. Since coming to Stopover, Jack has continued to attend school where he is ranked in the top 10% of his class. He has been active in the school Gay Straight Alliance, attends activities at the Indiana Youth Group regularly and participates in the school mentoring program. Jack even performed for the mayor as a member of the Advanced Choir. As if this weren’t enough, Jack is working a part-time job and saving for his first place.
As Jack completes his senior year of high school, he is anxiously awaiting entering college in the fall–he just needs to decide if he will go to Ivy Tech or Marian University!
For Jack and so many others like him, Stopover provides a safe refuge where young adults are able to be themselves, learn new skills and gain the confidence to follow their dreams. In Jack’s case, to become a professional singer and possibly teach music.