Jason came to Indiana after years of wrestling through relationship with a mentally unstable mother in an already difficult urban environment filled with crime, substance abuse and discouragement. Jason was often kicked out of the house during one of his mother’s fits, and rather than risking death on the streets at night, he would stay in a local shelter. The shelter provided him little to no help in addressing any of his own mental health issues nor getting out of his homeless situation. Jason found himself emotionally and physically shutting down, whether he was at the homeless shelter or back in his mother’s house. One thing became clear for Jason—if he didn’t leave his family and his city all together, he would be stuck in this situation forever.
Jason used the last of his money to hop a bus to Indianapolis. He didn’t tell anyone. He didn’t want anything to stop him. He chose Indianapolis because his mother had moved his family there for a short spell when he was a young teenager. It was the most stable they had ever been as a family, and he hoped to find that same kind of stability again for himself.
Within a day or so of arriving in Indy, Jason heard about Outreach, Inc. and made his way to our drop-in center. Over a one-month period, we worked as a male staff team to surround Jason with the best relational encouragement and supportive help for his homeless situation that we could. Through the help of our strategic partnership with Adult and Child, we were able to get Jason into supportive housing in the form of his own studio apartment on the near eastside. Jason could finally rest in the first place he could ever call his own, and no one else’s instability or whim could take it away from him.
Jason continues to come to our drop-in center, our guys group, and has become a regular part of our Outreach, Inc. community. We also discovered that with his mother’s housing and mental instability, he had gotten tired of switching schools so much—in fact, at the age of 16, he just went and took the GED test, passed, and quit going to school. Now he has a chance to go to college, if he wants to, without worrying that his dreams or stability will come crashing to the ground because of someone else. Jason is a true delight to know and we hope to continue supporting him well for at least the next 4 years.