Sarah's Story

Stable Housing is Key to Sarah’s Long-term Success

Young woman holding baby

Sarah* is the first member of her family to attend college. She had completed two years on a volleyball scholarship when she learned she was pregnant. She considered dropping out, so she could work full-time, since there was no way she could afford rent and provide for a new baby. Thankfully, she didn’t have to.

In addition to our emergency shelter, Synergy provides long-term housing to homeless and at-risk youth and young families who have nowhere else to turn. For these young people, the daily struggle to survive is a mighty obstacle to long-term success. In addition to housing, Synergy supports these clients with case management, therapy, life skills training, education and employment to help them achieve their personal goals.

Sarah moved into the apartment provided by Synergy when she was five months pregnant. She was able to continue to take college courses and stay on the volleyball team. She also worked part-time, attended parent support groups and worked with her case manager to create and stick to a budget.

Once she had progressed to a place where she was ready to be independent, Synergy staff assisted her in finding safe, clean and affordable housing options. She and her daughter—then a year old—moved into their own apartment and she graduated from college six months later. With her degree in secondary education she became a high school math teacher. Sarah says she hopes she can make a positive difference for young people the way Synergy did for her.

Getting connected to caring people and the right help generally means the difference between a positive outcome and a lifelong struggle for homeless teens. Adding a child into the mix increases the complexity and the stakes--both for the youth and the community. Investing in the services that put these young people on a path to success makes possible a transformation that benefits us all.

*Name changed to protect privacy