I’m Alive!

 *Names and images are not actual to provide privacy 

“I’m still alive!” is the greeting I get every few days, from Marcus (not his actual name),  one of our Second Shift youth. Marcus is a fun and energetic youth. He is a gifted artist and has a multitude of art journals that hold the images and stories of the fantasy characters he creates. He was among the fortunate few when he aged out. He had a job and an apartment with a roommate.

He did not have transportation or a driver’s license so Second Shift bought him a bike and helmet so he could safely get to and from work.

He was stable and doing great, until his roommate had some medical issues that required him to return home. Marcus was faced with the sudden loss of his apartment which led to the subsequent loss of his job and no back-up plan. Marcus struggled with the stress of these losses. Past trauma had left him susceptible to overwhelming anxiety when stressed and it became difficult for him to think things through. He ended up couch surfing through the family he had been removed from years ago. He endured constant stress and emotional abuse while he tried to work through a plan to get out again. With no driver’s license and no car, Marcus is extremely limited in what he can do. He is determined however and has walked miles to accomplish the tasks required to pursue an independent life.

Marcus ended up on the streets and is currently sleeping in a shelter at night and working toward independence by day. He did find a job recently but not until after he was mugged while trying to survive on the streets.

Second Shift was able to provide him with some basic clothing and personal items. We are also a constant source of emotional support and guidance for Marcus.

Every few days he checks in with us to let us know that he is alive and moving forward. For Marcus, Second Shift is the lighthouse that keeps him focused and on track in the turbulent waves of life. You can help us to be the lighthouse for those youth who need a light.

By Tammy Spence LMSW, CCTP Executive Director

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top