As the Christmas season is upon us, we wanted to share this story of hope and encourage you to give a gift to help Outreach continue to reach more homeless youth throughout Indianapolis!
When Javante was 17, he began visiting Outreach for a place to shower, find clean clothes, and do his laundry. Some days he would take the bus to the little blue house on East New York Street, and other days he would walk.
Over the next few years, Javante found himself in and out of shelters, staying with friends, and even sleeping on the streets. But one thing remained consistent - his visits to Outreach. Through sheer will and encouragement, Javante earned his high school diploma at 21. He found odd jobs and even completed a Job Corps training program. In 2017, Javante joined the rest of the Outreach community in our move to the new Program Center.
At the beginning of 2019, Javante learned he was finally getting his own apartment. But - as is the case with many of our youth - with every achievement, a new obstacle presents itself. In February, Javante was hospitalized after being robbed and shot in the stomach on his way home from the store. During his recovery, Javante realized that he would be aging out of Outreach’s services once he turned 25 in August. Despite facing this unfathomable life obstacle, Javante’s perseverance spurred him into action
Javante began visiting Outreach on Wednesdays to apply for and receive food stamps. With the help of Outreach volunteers, he received an apartment kit to welcome him into his new apartment. With the encouragement of case managers, he worked towards passing his driving test, and on his third attempt, he did just that.
Youth who consistently visit Outreach for at least a year are over 9 times more likely to report that Outreach has helped them feel more hopeful about the future. Javante is no exception. He credits the network of support he’s found at Outreach for the past eight years as what has helped him feel appreciated and accepted as an adult.
“Outreach helped me feel ready to become an adult. They helped me persevere even when I wanted to quit.”
At Outreach, we feel extremely fortunate for the opportunity to serve young people like Javante. Thanks to you, many more homeless youth will have a safe place to go, someone to call, and a network of support when life presents its obstacles.