Eva's supported Desran when he needed it, and now he's taken off as a multi-talented photographer, dancer, actor ... amazing!

As many parents have to do in order to lay the groundwork for life in a new country, Desran’s mother came to Canada to work. He grew up in St. Vincent without her. By the time he was able to fly up and join her, he was 15 years old.

It was difficult for them to connect with each other – they had lived apart for so many years. “We didn’t really have much communication,” he explains, knowing that continuing to live together would only lead to more stress and conflict between them. But he didn’t have anywhere else to go.

After a particularly difficult interaction with his mother, someone told Desran to go to Eva’s Place. “It was weird!” he says about his first impression of the facility. He’d never been to such a place before. But Desran stuck it out and was determined to make the most of it while he was there, speaking to every Eva’s Place team member he could to get support. “I had to communicate,” he says, naming particular team members who made a huge difference in his life. “I had to find ways to do what I wanted to do.”

While Desran was at Eva’s, he continued with high school and participated in several independent living skills and recreational programs. He helped take care of the community garden, assisted at organizational events, and even volunteered to make 50 beautiful handmade gifts to show appreciation to Eva’s donors.

Planter made by Desran
Handmade planter by Desran

It became clear to him just how varied his interests were. “I knew I was always welcome at Eva’s,” he says, “but I didn’t want to be there forever.” With Eva’s team on his side, he was able to graduate from high school, get a job, and find his own place to live.

Desran's story
Advertising campaign, featuring Desran

Desran started exploring and mastering many kinds of art – photography, dancing, acting, modeling, and more. He’s been featured in advertising campaigns, television shows, music videos, and an MTV documentary to share what was like to deal with homelessness. Desran has also become a successful professional photographer. He does everything from landscapes to special events to portraits and fashion shoots. “I’m always thinking about how I can get better and let my work speak for me,” he says. “When I take a picture, I want to tell a story. I want people to feel something.”

Now 26 years old, Desran has multiple talents and actively shares them with the world. He’s always reaching out and making an impression wherever he goes. His story illustrates how important it is to support a young person when they need it most. That support can lead to amazing outcomes that positively impact many, many lives.