Homeless Youth Finds Sense of Belonging at Promise House

Photograph of a young African American man wearing a backpack on his shoulder, and standing in front of a chalk board.Ryan’s mother passed away when he was 10 years old and he never knew his father.  He and his siblings had to raise themselves.

After living without adults in their mother’s house for a while, a family member took them in. “I really never had a place to call home and never had the chance to play basketball or other sports, things I would enjoy,” Ryan says. “I got into a lot of trouble and even had a stay in juvie.”

Ryan eventually settled with his older brother, but got kicked out again at 18. He couch-surfed and slept in a park whenever friends couldn’t put him up. Other times he just rode the bus through the night.

But then his luck changed. He found Promise House, a FYSB-funded Transitional Living Program in Dallas, TX. He couldn’t believe it when the TLP house parent asked him how his day was. “It was the first time in a long time that anyone had cared enough to be interested in me,” he says. “I knew I had found a place I could belong.”

For the past year, Ryan has been turning his life around. He started attending time- and money-management classes, and with help from Promise House’s supportive staff, graduated high school.

“This is a gift, a blessing that I’ve been given and I never want to take it for granted,” Ryan says. “If I didn't have Promise House in my life, I would probably still be on the streets.  I am sure that I would be drinking and doing drugs like so many others I know.”

He now attends Mountain View College, where he’s working towards a degree in filmmaking.

“I now have a direction and purpose,” he says. And he got both from the Promise House.