A Client’s Story: A Life Changing Experience

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012

Zebra Coalition® is focused on providing its clients with an opportunity to grow up in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. Many of our youth have overcome extraordinary feats to reach recovery and stability and our staff and Coalition partners work hard to support each client’s transformation.

Below, in their own words, one of our clients describes their journey and experience with Zebra Coalition®.

“all that came across my mind was “where was I going to sleep?” and “what was I going to eat?”

Growing up in a strict religious household like many, I was always afraid to come out to my single mother. Unfortunately, even after finding the courage to do so, I was told that I needed to live on my own if I wanted to continue living a “gay” lifestyle. With the pressures of acceptance, I ended up being kicked out of my own home, becoming homeless at the age of 18. At the time, I had no one for support and I nearly lost hope. I will never forget the day; it was two days after my 18th birthday, and all that came across my mind was “where was I going to sleep?” and “what was I going to eat?” As you can imagine, being homeless at 18 years of age was something I never saw happening and it served as a horrible wake up call for me. Despite that, while being homeless is not the ideal thing for anyone, I knew that giving up was not an option and I knew that if I hit rock bottom, there was no way but up.

“With the help and guidance of Case Managers at Zebra Coalition I eventually found the courage to finish my senior year”

I sought out for help and eventually with the generous support of a friend, I found out about the Zebra Coalition . I made a visit to their main office, and after filling out some paper work a Case Manger immediately placed me into a temporary living arrangement. Being one of the very first clients, the program was still developing at the time, but the help was immensely resourceful. I was placed in an alternative shelter, as Zebra Coalition was still developing its transitional housing program. Sooner than later, after waiting at the alternative shelter, I received a glorious call from one of the Case Mangers that I could join the Zebra Coalition transitional housing program. At the time, I was in the midst of my senior year in high school and it all seemed overwhelming. Zebra Coalition, however, provided me with all the tools I needed to live comfortably as I worked on my case plan. Each week I would meet with one of the Case Managers to write down a list of goals and daily needs. I was even provided with free counseling sessions where I would meet with a Counselor once a week at no cost to discuss my personal issues. With the help and guidance of Case Managers at Zebra Coalition, I eventually found the courage to finish my senior year, and despite some setbacks I was able to earn my high school diploma and transition into college.

“my journey with Zebra Coalition has been a life changing experience”

As I write this, I start to realize that life is something we all have to deal with and make the best of no matter what position we are placed in. We are powerful. Gay, straight, lesbian, bi, transgender, etc., we all have the ability to live a good life if we believe in ourselves. All it takes is determination and the will of ambition toward achieving your goal. Overall, my journey with Zebra Coalition has been a life changing experience for me and I would like to thank everyone for their amazing support. We made it!