Disadvantaged? Not so when you access the resources available at BCFS-Kerrville's transition center. This is what DJ found out, a 26 year old male who entered Child Protective Services (CPS) care at the age of one.
DJ had changed placements approximately six times until he was nine and moved into a foster home where he lived until the age of eighteen. On his own, DJ struggled with buying groceries, paying rent and other bills. He was hired part time with the Green & Clean program which serves as a training ground for disadvantaged youth. This allowed DJ the opportunity to gain training, work experience and entrepreneurial skills.
He was excited when he learned of Our House, the BCFS-Kerrville transitional apartments which offered him housing at a price he could afford. The burden and stress of wondering if he could make his rent payment each month was over. Approximately two months later he was offered a full time position with Green & Clean and has been the Lawn Maintenance Lead for more than 2 ½ years.
DJ accessed other resources through BCFS-Kerrville such as having a Person Centered Plan created and receiving case management with Wayne Hux II. This included weekly support meetings to help him remain focused on his goals and to overcome challenges while learning problem solving and good decision-making skills. DJ also received HEB gift cards for food and funds through the Texas Workforce Commission program to purchase dress clothes for meetings with prospective Green & Clean customers. Prior to being promoted with Green & Clean and moving into the TLP apartments, DJ admits having had no real plan; “I was just trucking along trying to pay bills.” Now DJ is driving his first car and has moved out of the TLP apartments and has lived in his own place for a year now.
DJ plans to finish his college education and encourages other youth to access the resources available to them through BCFS-Kerrville. He recalls trying to make it on his own previously and states, “I just wasn’t ready.” After continuing to “truck along”, DJ is still making progress. He has accepted an offer of employment with another company where he will he will utilize the skills he has acquired while receiving services at BCFS-Kerrville and working with Green & Clean Services. He is an excellent example of what can happen in a young person’s life when determination and a loving hand up come together. Thank you to all who are a part of making success stories like this possible. And to our youth, we are here for you. Please allow us to be part of your success story as well.
Story by Jason M. Johnson