A lot of people say you need yoga to release stress. But what Melanie needed was YouthCare and the Tile Project.

Before she joined YouthCare’s Tile Project, Melanie had hit rock bottom. She had been working as a nanny, making good money. Then she got really sick. She lost her job, and because she lost her job, she lost her apartment. She didn’t know what to do with herself. She had always been an independent person and had been through a lot in her short lifetime. When she lost her job, she freaked out. She didn’t know how she was going to keep paying her bills and rent.

Then she came across YouthCare and the Tile Project. She told herself to give it a try and the paycheck she would get would help her pay some of her bills until she could get herself back on her feet again. But it turned out that the paycheck is not what she really needed. It was the support and the environment that really made her show up every day. At this point in her life, she was dealing with a lot of personal issues. Health problems, boyfriend problems, financial issues, family—you name it.

But once she walked into the Tile room, all those issues were left at the door. She would get so caught up in what she was doing that all her worries would go away. She would be in the moment, focused and excited to create something new. She had never been a creative person, more of a thinker; but the Tile Project brought that creative side out of her.

The Tile Project gave Melanie an opportunity to see herself in a different light and environment. It made her feel good. She started thinking about her future and what she really wanted to do with her life. She talked to staff at YouthCare about her goals for herself.

A couple of months after completing the Tile Project, Melanie moved into her own apartment and got a job! She had been searching for an apartment for a while and but hadn’t found the right one. Several case managers worked together and constantly encouraged Melanie to keep going, which helped her move forward into self-sufficiency. She is now back on the path she has worked so hard for.