Eddie left home when he finished school. He went to live with his grandparents out of state and start a new life. But the experience didn’t go as planned. And when his grandparents passed, Eddie found himself alone and adrift. At 20, he returned to the Central Coast to try living with his father again so he could get back on his feet. But he struggled to fit in—he butted heads with his new step-mom which only widened the gap between Eddie and his father. Feeling frustrated and fearful, Eddie reached out to his old Social Worker for help and she connected him with THP+. Eddie entered care with more than a little apprehension.
Having spent much of his adolescence either in foster care or trying to take care of his father or aging grandparents, Eddie had little time to focus on his own goals and needs. Coming into his own apartment in THP+, his team saw how much support Eddie would need to learn stronger life skills, such as housecleaning, budgeting and time management, in addition to him needing help developing better communication and coping skills. Eddie naturally gravitated
towards isolation as a means of self-protection, which made it hard for him to connect and establish relationships. While he longed for friendships, he just didn’t know how to talk to people. Eddie’s team matched him with a mental health therapist to work through his past issues and help him overcome his anxieties in addition to having him work with a Youth Partner (YP) on improving his social skills. Eddie bonded quickly with his YP and the relationship was hugely healing for him. In knowing that his YP had lived through situations similar to his own and had come out stronger because of the support he received, it inspired Eddie to try his hardest for his own success.
Out from underneath many of the negative influences in his life and with improved skills, Eddie was able to surface as a stronger, more independent person. In THP+, he learned so much about himself, about his aspirations and his strengths. And he had a team of people who constantly showed up to help him succeed. From smaller achievements, like getting his driver’s license to learning how to balance his checking account; to major successes, like enrolling in college and completing his first semester with a 3.2 GPA, Eddie felt consistently cared for and encouraged. And even when he didn’t make the right decision the first time, his team provided him the support he needed to own up to his mistakes and learn from them.
Eddie’s next round of goals: saving for long term housing and finishing his AA degree feel accomplishable to him because of how far he’s come, what’s he’s already achieved and the relationships he’s made along the way. His anxieties no longer define his life; Eddie does.