Tyler Norwood: Homeless, but not hopeless

Photo: Tyler Norwood

When Tyler first came to BCFS Health and Human Services, he was struggling with homelessness and substance abuse after aging out of foster care. He sought assistance to find housing, get a job and get help staying clean.

Tyler was accepted into BCFS’ Our House, which provides young men facing homelessness a safe, stable living environment. Our House residents plug into services at the BCFS center in Abilene to become self-sufficient, finish high school or earn a GED, find a job, manage a budget, and apply for college.

Additionally, while living in the house, the residents learn to share in communal responsibilities, from general cleaning and preparing weekly house dinners to service projects benefiting the local neighborhood. This instills a sense of resident responsibility and ownership in Our House.

As with most things in life, Tyler’s stay at Our House was not without initial difficulties.

“Our House has certain rules residents must follow in order to live there,” explains Martin Pittman, BCFS’ Program Lead. “Tyler had difficulty with authority and those rules, at first.”

After meeting with staff, some meaningful conversation with other tenants and personal introspection, Tyler accepted the rules and fulfilled his house requirements.

He has steered clear from using substances and got a job at a local grocery store.

“Thanks to BCFS, I have become more independent and responsible.” – Tyler Norwood

*Featured in BCFS’ annual together magazine