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Ami’s Hope Story: Couch Surfing No More

My name is Ami.

I am 18 years old and came to Catholic Charities last spring literally looking for shelter. You see I graduated high school in May, despite being homeless for the majority of my senior year. I couldn’t keep couch surfing at friends’ houses and sleeping in parks. I knew I needed a home to survive.

I’m an immigrant from Ghana and was removed from my father’s custody when I was only eight years old. I haven’t seen my mother in over 10 years since she still lives in Ghana, and I send money to my mother and siblings as frequently as I can. For months I was having a difficult time with keeping a job due to lack of transportation.

I’d find a job, but it would be too far away. Friends who promised to give rides would fall through, bus lines wouldn’t get me to the right area, and I would end up spending more money on Uber rides than I was making at work. I was frustrated and overwhelmed, especially as I started the process of applying to community college, figuring out my classes, books, and financial aid. I also had incredible difficulty sleeping due to anxiety and depression.

After meeting my Catholic Charities’ case manager and becoming part of their housing program, things started to change for me. I was getting a good night’s rest, I had a place to call home. I had peace and I had hope for my future. I started seeing a counselor. For the first time in a very long time, I had a support system.

I could breathe. I could plan.

Currently, I have a part time job at a tea and coffee shop just blocks from my apartment. I love saying those words – my apartment. I love my job and my supervisor is already trusting me with more responsibilities and talking about a raise! I’m enrolled full time at a local community college. I’ve figured out the bus route from my apartment to school and I’m saving money towards a car.

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas has been on this journey with me helping me stay the course. My case manager rocks! I have a counselor that comes to my apartment for appointments weekly and I’ve made consistent progress towards every goal I’ve set. Though anxiety creeps in on occasion, I have hope and I have a plan that I know I can achieve.

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Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas serves the most vulnerable men, women and children of all faiths across 21 counties. We provide innovative programs and solutions that stabilize and strengthen individuals and families to have hope for the future. Follow us to stay up to date.

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