“Jake’s” eyes fluttered open. He shifted his gaze as he struggled to wake up — he hadn’t slept much last night. He heard loud voices and babies whimpering on the other side of the thin wall. He started to feel claustrophobic in his tiny sleeping space and pulled himself off the floor. Everyday felt worse than the last. How did things get this bad?
Not long ago Jake was living in a supportive family, but when his mom died things changed. His step dad wasn’t able to make the mortgage payments and they lost their house. A family member offered to let him stay for a while, but all they could spare was a place to sleep in their walk-in closet. With two adults and five other kids living in the apartment there was never enough food for everyone, either.
Jake started hanging out at friends’ houses when he could or simply wandering the halls at school. Hopelessness clouded his thoughts and he found it impossible to focus on anything. His grades fell to D’s and F’s. One day, a school social worker realized what was going on and called Second Story.
Second Story for Homeless Youth was able to find a place for Jake near his school soon after he contacted Second Story. This time, his host family was able to welcome him out of eagerness instead of desperation. There was always enough food and a private, safe place for him to sleep. Jake felt comfortable going home after school again, and with more steadiness and consistency his grades improved. He found a tutor and was able to graduate on time. After graduating from Second Story, Jake found stable housing and enrolled in a vocational training program. Things slipped into darkness for Jake after his support system fell apart, but through Second Story he found a new kind of support. Now Jake feels confident and enabled to pursue a hopeful future.