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Laura’s Story: Housing, Stability, and Hope

When Laura* began accessing drop-in services at Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC), a YSS organization based in Des Moines, she was living on the streets and struggling with substance use. Although the resources from IHYC helped her situation, Laura needed housing to find true stability.

With the help of YSS, Laura was able to move into her own apartment through the organization’s Supportive Housing program. Having her own place and receiving ongoing support from YSS staff was just the thing she needed to get her life on track.

When Laura moved in, YSS helped furnish her apartment and made sure she had food. The transition was understandably difficult; overnight, Laura went from survival mode to self-sufficiency. But she continued to reach out to staff for assistance.

During her first year living at her new apartment, Laura engaged with mental health services at IHYC, where she developed trust with her therapist and began her journey toward sobriety. She went through the paperwork to get an emotional support animal in her apartment, which taught her responsibility. After Laura obtained all her vital documents, she enrolled in college as a full-time student.

Today she is five months sober, staying in constant contact with her sponsor and forming positive connections to keep her motivated.

Furthermore, Laura worked with her YSS advocate to be accepted into the mainstream voucher process so she can begin the steps to move into Section 8 housing. This will provide her with long-term rental assistance until she graduates and can earn a living wage.

All this was possible thanks to the security and stability of an apartment. When she obtained housing, Laura could finally focus on her goals.

“Laura got the help she needed, wanted, and deserved,” said Hope Metheny, Transitional Housing Program Director at YSS. “She is on her way to a successful life, and we are so grateful we’ve been able to walk alongside her in the journey. We are so proud of Laura for believing in herself and not giving up.”

*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality

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