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.
Despite having little if any family support, Alyx stayed on track and utilized staff and resources of Shaw House to keep moving forward with her goals. She displayed many qualities and strengths in overcoming the adversities she faced, and was resilient and did not give up when times were tough. Alyx tells in her own words her story below.
“I moved out of my mom’s house when I was in eighth grade. I’m transgender, and my mom doesn’t have the same point of view. I moved to my dad’s house in Arizona, and it was pretty much the same thing.
“I’ve known since I was five that there was something severely different about me. I have to be on hormones, living the gender I see myself as consistently for a certain amount of time before my therapist can write a letter to a doctor who specializes in gender reassignment surgery. I’ve been doing it for a year and a half now. I’m on my way. When I first came here, a few people gave me a little trouble about it, then nothing after that. I mean, I don’t put up with shit.”
“If I work fairly quickly, I’ll graduate in four months. I want to go to UMaine for premedical studies. I’ve wanted to go to med school since eighth grade. I’m devoted to it. It’s one of the biggest dreams I have. I want to pursue orthopedic trauma surgery. I’ve always been interested in how things work, and people are extremely intricate and infinitely different.”
(the exert above is from an interview that Alyx did with Down East Magazine when they came to Shaw House to do a story on our programs in 2013.)
The Shaw House Shelter is a safe zone for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender expression, sexuality, class, religion or ability. Use of derogatory terms is uncalled for and will not be tolerated. Young people like Alyx need places like the Shaw House and its programs to succeed. All homeless youth in this State and across the country share a common thread; they did not choose to live on the streets, they have been let down in one way or another by adults, and they all have a tremendous amount of energy and resilience. Some are less fortunate and will battle mental illness. In Alyx case she needed a safe place and supports to help her reach her goals!