Jeremy began coming to Covenant House when he was 17. He would argue with his father and then would get kicked out of his home. These arguments with his father would be very physical and his belongings would be thrown out of the house.
When we first met Jeremy, he was very compliant and polite but could not follow through with any of his goals. His budgeting was problematic and he would usually leave the Crisis Program as he tended to over spend and often ran out of money. He tried to become a drug dealer, but at over 6' tall he stuck out like a sore thumb and he was very paranoid at being caught. He got deeper and deeper into debt and as such would frequently show up at the shelter without shoes.
Jeremy continued to come in and out of our Crisis Program. Finally one day he decided to settle down and utilize all of our services. This change occurred after his father had a heart attack. Jeremy was there to see it and he realized how precious life really was. He returned to the Crisis Program and focused on finding employment and accessing our supports to better his life choices.
He found a job with a telecommunications company. We worked with him on his budgeting skills and he was able to save money. Then he applied to our Rights of Passage (ROP) program and was accepted. Jeremy’s time at ROP was very successful. He kept his job and asked for help with those tasks that he struggled with, like paying off his debts. By the time he graduated from ROP, he was almost debt free.
During his time with us, Jeremy was a great leader for the other youth. He encouraged many of his peers to go running with him in the morning and to go to the gym rather than the bar. He was a great cook and would prepare the most fantastic smelling food and was excellent at meal planning and organizing his work schedule. He was pleasant to deal with and encourage the others living at ROP every day.
Before Jeremy left Rights of Passage he had one more thing he wanted help with. Since he was a young child, he was told that he needed braces. He did not like to smile as his teeth were very crooked. We got in touch with one of the dentists who provides us with free dental care and he referred Jeremy to an orthodontist. Every year, we have a donor who purchases Christmas presents for the youth in Rights of Passage and Jeremy’s wish was for some help in paying for his (reduced) orthodontist fees. His wish was granted and his fees were paid.
Jeremy is now living independently and smiles often with his new grin.