Joseph – Homeless Youth Program

Joseph, a former child welfare DCFS client, transitioned to our DHS homeless youth program after emancipation. His counselor, Mario, was concerned about Joseph’s readiness to live independently due to his struggles with depression and alcoholism. Understanding the risks of incarceration or homelessness, we decided to keep Joseph in the YOS programming and the Transitional Living Program (TLP), even though residency typically ends post-emancipation.

Mario has been more than just a counselor to Joseph – a mentor, uncle, and a reliable voice of reason. About six months ago, Joseph’s situation was critical; heavy drinking, multiple arrests, and mental health challenges. Recognizing the urgent need for intervention, YOS provided ongoing support, helping Joseph to turn his life around. He has now achieved four months of sobriety, avoided further arrests, and enrolled in his first semester at Triton College, focusing on his mental health and physical well-being.

Despite his challenges, Joseph has maintained steady employment, working about 80% of his time in the program. Now, with his life getting back on track, he’s mentoring other young men in the program, assisting them in finding employment and improving their lives.

At YOS, we are committed to seeing Joseph reach his full potential. With ongoing support from Mario and our team, we are confident in Joseph’s journey towards becoming his best self.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.