I (Matt) have met with a lot of people about what we are doing through Oasis Community. The question I always get asked is, “Why are you doing this?” The following story is the best answer to this question.
“I’m now 21, and I’m still scared. I’m still trying to learn how to be an adult.”
It was February when she moved to Elkhart, IN. She was 14 and excited to be relocating to live with her mom for a change. She hoped it would be a fresh start in a new town. Homelessness was not in her plans.
Sara had only been in town a couple of weeks when she arrived home from school to find an eviction notice on her door. The windows were boarded up. Her mom was gone. She had nowhere to go. She spent much of the next week homeless — sleeping under bridges and in empty houses not knowing what else to do. Eventually, DCS picked her up and placed her in foster care where she stayed until adulthood.
As a senior, it was nearly impossible to focus on her schoolwork as she watched the calendar move closer and closer to her 18th birthday. Her 18th birthday presented a deep internal conflict. She was anxious to take back control of her life, but she was well aware that she wasn’t prepared to be an independent adult.
Eighteen and graduated meant leaving her foster home, but who would she turn to? How would she learn to drive? Where would her money come from? Many days, the stress of her impending adulthood was debilitating.
Sara ended up living with her sister for a short time before she got an apartment at 19 years old. It didn’t last long. She took on a roommate who then robbed her and left her unable to pay her rent. She spent the next 4-5 months squatting in deserted homes around Elkhart trying to figure out her next move. Life has been hard.
“The problem isn’t that I didn’t have opportunities, I simply needed a trusted person beside me to hold my hand.”
Sara is now 21. She is strong, kind, and generous. Life still feels scary to her. She has moved to Detroit and lives with her boyfriend and his kids. She just got a job at Applebee’s. She is doing her best to be independent and self-sufficient, but she recognizes that it is an uphill challenge.
Oasis is for kids just like Sara. Young adults who need someone to help them navigate the transition to adulthood.
“I always felt like I was the only one going through this stuff. Oasis would have provided me the opportunity to learn from and contribute to a group of people going through the same things as me.”
Sara’s story is not an anomaly, unfortunately, it is very common. Find out more about Oasis Community by clicking here.
*Sara’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.