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On September 23rd, Joy, a Shelter resident, gave this speech at AFG’s “Planting Roots” event.
Hello my name is Joy Evans.
21 years ago I celebrated my first birthday in a women’s battered shelter. At the age of 15 I entered into my first youth homeless program by choice, due to my mother’s neglectful behavior. Throughout my life my mother struggled with addiction which made it hard for her to provide for me. I relied on many shelter programs in several different states throughout my teen years. At the age of 20 I became involved with Alternatives For Girls. I was homeless and found out I was pregnant. I knew I needed to obtain resources to maintain financial independence, and gain life and parenting skills. I needed assistance with prenatal care, a safe place to help with my pregnancy, and education on newborn care.
My future plans are to have two jobs when my daughter enters Head Start. Attend university when my daughter enters elementary and earn a master’s degree before she enters high school. By the time she enters middle school I would like to buy my first house which will be my family home and I hope to have it paid off by the time she graduates college and pass it down to her. Because I don’t have a family home to visit, I would love to be able to provide that to her. I love to give and teach to others and I strive to be the solution to many social problems such as high school drop outs and youth homelessness. I feel passionate about these issues because I overcame them myself, and as a result, I’ve had so many opportunities and doors open for me.
Thanks to the supportive staff members at AFG, especially the shelter director Ms. Carolyn, the shelter manager Ms. Shelia, and my case planner Ms. Carmen, I’ve been able to utilize the skills I’ve learned in order to maintain an independent lifestyle. In the last 9 months, I’ve completed the goals I set for myself when I came to AFG: obtaining a job, saving money, and finding my own apartment! I would like to thank AFG for allowing me into the program. Over time I’ve learned “when you think something is impossible… simply say I AM POSSIBLE!” Thank you.