A Young Man Begins to Heal

Photograph of a young man standing in front of a houseAt 17 years old, Brian found himself sleeping in an empty garage. He had run away from home to escape the screaming and fighting that went on there. He liked school, but he found it too hard so he dropped out and spent his days hanging out at a nearby park instead.

At the time, Brian says, he thought of himself as a nobody.

All that changed when Brian began talking to street outreach counselors from Somerset Home for Temporarily Displaced Children, a FYSB-funded program in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Brian began opening up about himself and his troubles at home. Somerset staff learned that he liked sports and had happy memories of baseball camp.

Over time, the outreach team persuaded Brian that he needed a safe place to sleep. They took him to Brahma House, Somerset’s short-term residential program for young people in crisis.

There, Brian got a hot shower, clean clothes and a good meal.

The next day, case managers began working with Brian on creating a long-term housing plan. They determined he needed treatment for severe emotional trauma and found a residential program where he would get help.

Somerset Home didn’t send Brian off empty-handed. He left with a duffel bag full of clothes, toiletries and even a baseball glove to help him reconnect with the sport he loved. Brian also left Somerset with a team that cared about him and continued to check on his progress.

Brian’s transition hasn’t been an easy one, and he still faces times of anger and sadness. But connecting him to the right program has helped him make progress while living in a safe and nurturing environment. Brian knows he will continue facing ups and downs, but he is grateful to everyone who stands by him along the way, especially the Somerset Street Outreach team.

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