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Success Stories

Shaw House Success Story: A Letter of Appreciation

Dear Shaw House Staff,

I know sometimes it's nice to see some appreciation for the things you do for others, so I'd like to show my appreciation. From day one of being at Shaw House, I felt comfortable because I finally had a stable and safe place to be at. Every single staff in this lovely place has helped me out in some sort of way. Whether it was with supportive help, helping me feel better, or helping me use my resources to get my life on track; it all means so much to me. Knowing there are people out there that care helps out a lot. You guys do so many amazing things for a lot of youth and it's a wonderful thing. It makes me still have faith in humanity really. One act of kindness can go a long way. I wasn't here for long, but Shaw House is my home and always will be. A home to me is feeling accepted somewhere and being around people that you feel safe and confortable around; and that's what Shaw House is for me. I'm glad to have gone through this obstacle of life here, with such an amazing support system behind me.

Shaw House Success Story: Alyx's Story

Alyx is a young transgender woman that came to the Shaw House Shelter when she became homeless in 2013. During the time she stayed at the Shelter, Alyx worked with her case manager to develop a plan and set goals that would help her to complete her education, find employment, participate in counseling, begin hormone therapy, and move to a safe appropriate housing. Alyx's story demonstrates the strengths ofthe Shaw House programs as they work together to offer a continuum of support and resources for homeless and at-risk young people.

She finished High School at the Carleton Project, our on-site school program, graduated with her High School Diploma, successfully finished the Career Compass program and has an opportunity to work for the sheriff's office through the Volunteers of America as an administrative assistant. (See: Success Story for the On-site School). Alyx has now moved to her own apartment, continues to work and has been accepted into University of Maine UMA, Social Work program where she will start classes in the fall.


Shaw House Basic Center: Success Story - Austin

Austin was 18 when he came to the Shaw House for the first time in 2013. At that time, he lacked selfconfidence and motivation, had dropped out of school during his junior year and had very few support systems in place. He started staying in the shelter and working with case management in the basic center to establish goals and identify needed services. As Austin began to receive support and services, he started to feel better about himself and soon started to take an interest in improving his life, although he continued to lack motivation at times.

After staying in the shelter for a few months, Austin moved into the transitional program at Shaw House, a longer-term placement that teaches youth the tools necessary to prepare for life as adults. He also started to attend the Carleton Project, the on-site school program, in pursuit of his high school diploma. Austin responded positively to the structure and support of the transitional program and was able to meet most of the expectations of living there. Although he was not able to maintain long-term employment at that time, Austin received a lot of encouragement on his school work and dedicated his efforts.


The New Face of Homelessness or Jess' Story

by Rick Tardiff

jess-story_smThe attendant at the drive thru is a teenage schoolgirl with a big smile and a warm welcome, sporting the latest fashions from GAP, Hollister, Abercrombie, or American Eagle. She is impeccably turned out, not a hair out of place. You order a coffee, medium with cream and one sugar then decide to go for a bagel with egg and bacon. The young server chats away about the weather as she gets your order ready. She may be thinking about what she is going to buy at the mall when she gets off shift, perhaps a boyfriend will pick her up and they will go to the movies with friends. This is the early shift and she shivers as the cold Maine air blows into the serving window. She straightens her back and takes the next order with the same upbeat energetic manner.

As you pull out to negotiate the traffic you are unaware that you have just come face to face with homelessness. The young lady who served you is homeless. Left to find her way on the streets since the ripe old age of 15.


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My name is Tyler. People always ask me, 'Why do you live there'. The reason is simple. I tell them 'I live here today because I know I will be loved here tomorrow.' Sad to say but the best thing that has happened to me is becoming homeless, and that's the truth.  

Hear Tyler's Story...

Infinity Federal Credit Union

Thank you Infinity Federal Credit Union for all your support.