Brothers Find Way Out of the Darkness

Teen boy with his older brotherZachary and his younger brother Brian were cold and in the dark. It was February in the Midwest. Their mother, overwhelmed by financial burdens and alcohol addiction, packed up and left to live in another state. The two boys had no money to pay the rent or the utilities. They were threatened with eviction, the electricity was shut off, and they had no way to heat the house or even cook a meal. Both brothers were attending school. In desperation, they turned to their teachers for help, asking for blankets and food. Their teachers did what they could to help with their immediate needs. Then they called Boys Town, which runs an emergency shelter for youth funded by the Family and Youth Service Bureau.

Boys Town welcomed Zachary and Brian to its nearby short-term residential facility, where they would be safe and warm while staff members worked on finding a more permanent living arrangement. Eventually, a local family took in Brian. But because Zachary had turned 18, it was difficult to find a home for him. With graduation approaching, Zachary had no permanent place to live and no plan for the future. Putting the teen’s well-being and safety first, Boys Town decided to have Zachary remain in their programming while he finished school and continued his extracurricular activities. Boys Town also helped the teen get into a job-training program where he could begin learning a trade.

After graduating high school, Zachary stayed in touch with the Boys Town staff and has come back to visit. He completed his job training and now has a good job with a local business. Zachary stays in close touch with Brian, who is doing well in school and enjoys living with his foster family. With support from the Family and Youth Service Bureau and Boys Town, two brothers found a way out of the darkness.

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