In the early Spring, 22-year-old Jamir found herself homeless after a family conflict. She called 2-1-1 and was able to get into Beth-El Center’s No Freeze Shelter, but because of COVID-19 restrictions and capacity limits, she was unable to remain there long-term. For the next three months, she lived in a tent in the woods. Although she was able to find a temporary job, it only provided enough income for her to buy blankets and minimal food.
As time went on, Jamir began to lose hope. “I was at my breaking point,” she shared. “I didn’t want to live anymore.” It was right around that time when Jamir received a call from Youth Continuum, a United Way supported agency that helps vulnerable youth and their families. The 2-1-1 workers she had spoken with in the Spring connected her with the resources she needed to change her life.
At Youth Continuum, Jamir not only received shelter but also the mental health support she needed. “The staff members helped me with a lot of things,” she remarked. “That’s when I became more positive.” Additionally, through Youth Continuum, Jamir was able to find permanent housing. On September 1, she moved into her own home and is currently in search of a full-time job.
Jamir’s experience has given her a new-found mission to use her life to help those who are homeless. She has become an active member on the Youth Advisory Board, a group that helps unstable, unhoused youth and works with Youth Continuum to improve their housing process.
“I want to help people who are struggling,” Jamir stated. “I want others to know that they should not lose hope. Hope is the only way that you can keep going and get somewhere.”