Residential Programs Client

I left Jamaica because of rejection and fear of facing further violence for being gay. Except for some support from my grandmother and brother, my family rejected me, and this resulted in me becoming homeless. I was forced to make family out of gay friends. We made the most of it, even though we were easy targets. I was attacked, and escaped attempts for my life, so I saw the need to leave for my safety. Eventually, I saved enough to move to New York, United States, where some distant relatives live. I entered youth shelters when I arrived and from a crisis shelter, I was referred to Diaspora Community Services for their Transitional Independent Living program in March of 2016. This program helped me find a sense of safety and stability. While living there, I saved money, I worked with a case manager to help me plan and set goals and I was challenged to explore my past in therapy. The staff care about my well being and they worked hard with me to teach me what it takes to live on my own. I recently transitioned out of the TIL on July 2017, into a housing program for LGBT youth, where I can live until I am 25 years old. I feel stable and safe. I couldn't have done all of this without their support.