A young man named Alex* arrived on our front porch on a late night in May, looking for shelter. The young man had traveled out of state to get away from a toxic living environment, where he was being abused by his parents. Alex was fearful of returning home and didn’t have anywhere to go. He chose to travel to Georgia because he had a friend that lived in the area. Realizing that it wasn’t practical for him to stay at his friend’s house permanently, he had found Advocate’s Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter (FBCS) by searching online. FBCS welcomed Alex to the home, and provided him shelter, food, clothing, independent living services, educational services, medical services, case management, transportation assistance, mental health resources, and opportunities for recreational activities. Alex spent the summer at FBCS working hard, enjoying the Georgia hills and red clay, and embracing new experiences like going to the beach for the first time.

In the short time that Alex resided at FBCS, he was able to get a job, open a savings account, enroll in high school classes, get health insurance, receive assistance with obtaining his license, and develop a support system with positive and trusting adults. Alex improved his daily living, socialization, and independent living skills greatly while at FBCS. Upon his 18th birthday, Alex discharged from the program and entered Advocate’s RISE Rapid Re-Housing program and is currently a client of RISE. He has graduated High School and is looking forward to starting college. Alex still receives case management services, further development of life skills, and transportation assistance to school and work. Alex now has his own apartment through the RISE program and is living independently and happily, working hard to accomplish his goals.

*Name changed for client confidentiality