Man running through winter snow

Transformation Tuesday: Finding Direction in Turbulence

cha-dev Our Youth

Every Tuesday, we like to share transformation stories of the youth here at Covenant House Alaska! This way, our partners and supporters can see how we make a difference together. No matter how big or small the accomplishment, we celebrate every step forward. Today’s transformation comes out of our Rapid Rehousing Program:

During this trying time of COVID-19, Covenant House Alaska has strived to remain a safe place for youth and young adults transitioning to new seasons of their lives. The pandemic has not been easy for any of us, especially for those who are endeavoring to break the cycles of their vulnerability. However, amidst the turbulence, there are individuals with stories of hope. Connor is one of these people.

Arriving to shelter during our campus-wide lockdown, Connor was a little skeptical of what Covenant House Alaska did at first. He would often question one of our Permanency Navigators about his job duties trying to figure out their relevance and applicability both in general and to himself. Over the course of his stay at the Youth Engagement Center, Connor made the most of his time participating in physical training, Spanish courses, book studies, running workouts, martial arts sessions, and outdoor hiking events. He often commented on how he wanted to break the cycle of laziness and begin to gather direction in his life. 

It was not long before Connor was referred to the Rapid Rehousing Program (RRH) and found an apartment with his RRH Case Manager, Dyane Figueroa. At first, solo apartment life was a bit of a challenge for Connor. While he still arrived for physical training sessions and joined group runs, he felt he had so much free time he did not know what to do with it all. As his RRH Case Manager continued to encourage him to look for employment while taking more ownership of his financial obligations, Connor successfully found a stable employer and realized the need to assume responsibility for helping cover the cost of his living situation. After trying a couple different jobs, Connor settled into one that works for him which he now runs or walks 6 miles a day round trip to reach. During this time, he also completed his GED and is actively pursuing joining the armed services to gain medical training as well as travel experience. Needless to say, Connor has certainly succeeded in his goal of breaking the lazy habits he complained about.

With his time in RRH coming to a close over the coming months, Connor has demonstrated what it means to be a dedicated and persistent individual. While every step was not perfect, Connor learned from his mistakes and challenged himself to do better the next time around. Dyane’s relentless engagement with Connor and thorough explanation of the RRH parameters helped highlight how RRH can be a great tool to help young adults on their paths to independence. Way to go Connor!

Interested in learning more about how you can help youth experiencing homelessness in Alaska? Click here!