May 12, 2022
Partner Program Spotlight - KBH Outreach Program
The following is a success story from Kennebec Behavioral Health (KBH), a partner program of United Way. Your donations support this program and many others across the county.
Often times, successes with the homeless youth population come in small steps. A success may be having the young person agree to have a conversation with a family member or support person; finding the youth a safe place for one night; the youth going to a job interview by himself or the youth obtaining identification to be able to access other benefits.
Each and every positive step along the continuum for that individual is a success. Youth who are experiencing homelessness are incredibly resilient, and we consider the youth with whom we work to be one of the fundamental strengths of the program.
Alex is a 19-year-old transgendered woman who has faced numerous challenges in her young life, including homelessness, family conflict and the risk of dropping out of school before connecting with the outreach program.
“I was basically abandoned by my family,” Alex shared. “I ended up in a shelter for homeless youth. I had moved around a lot before that and didn’t have anybody I could rely on.”
The staff with the outreach program helped connect Alex with her birth mother, who had been out of her life for a long time, and helped her seek emancipation while also connecting her with transitional housing programs and doctors. Alex was able to find more stability in being emancipated since she now had the choice to stay with someone long term.
“Getting emancipation showed me that the judge saw that I had the responsibility to take care of myself and make good decisions,” Alex said.
With this new help, graduating school also became less of a dream and more of a reality. The outreach program helped Alex change schools and in June, she graduated. Today, Alex is employed and has her own apartment where she feels comfortable. She now has a primary care physician whom she sees regularly after being connected with them through the program.
“I’m planning to go to college later this year. It’s been tough to work and get ready for that, but I really want to do it. I also just want to keep working. I like being able to take care of myself,” said Alex.
Alex’s story allows us to see that the connections we make with individuals can often lead to other connections that can change the life of someone experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. In cultivating these connections, Alex, and others who share elements of Alex’s story, may be empowered to take steps toward achieving their goals and reaching dreams.
“If it wasn’t for the Outreach program at KBH, I don’t think I’d be where I am now.”
Categories: News | Tags: | Posted by: Mboyer
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