I have something important I want to share with you all: YouthCare provides access to services that can help with your situation and support you with your future. They can also help you learn how to handle your own life, build up your self-worth, and they remind you that it is never too late to learn and pursue new opportunities.
When I first came to Isis house, I felt that I had an LGBTQIA+ community there, and that I was not alone. I felt comfortable with the team, staff, and residents. There was a regular Wednesday group check in, and staff taught residents how to cook, budget, and save money. My life really changed for the better. My parents never guided me well, and I grew up in a domestically violent home, but YouthCare rescued me and gave me the chance to slowly stabilize. They helped me learn about jobs and housing, and when I was ready, they helped me move to their Home of Hope housing site where I was able to practice paying rent, budgeting, and keeping my room clean.
After that I felt ready for my own place and had plans to move to Florida, but a situation with an old roommate made me homeless again for a few months. But this time I knew I wasn’t alone. Thankfully, YouthCare had taught me how to use resources and find shelter. Because of that, I was able to get my own place and I found a job working full-time for Cathedrals. I have my own apartment now, and it’s the first time I’ve ever had my own place without a roommate.
I am really thankful that YouthCare helped guide my path, provide me with wisdom, and stay strong. My favorite case manager at YouthCare, Cate Culpepper, used to tell me, “Life may separate us, but it can never break the bond we share. I always believe in you, and I want you to know that I’m proud of you. You’re stronger than you know, so keep believing, keep moving forward, and remember I’m by your side, protecting and guiding you.”
Cate Culpepper passed away a while ago now. I was young and at risk back then, but I survived, and I want to honor YouthCare and Cate. A few years ago, I went back to visit Isis House and was able to pay my respects to her memory. I want to say thank you for everything and that YouthCare is amazing. I will always carry YouthCare and Cate in my heart.
Alex (Cassy) Kinney