Stuart has wise advice for youth who come to Eva’s: believe in yourself and trust in the support that’s being offered.
When Stuart walked through the doors of Eva’s Place, he felt lost and didn’t trust anyone. He had limited family supports and community connections and came to Eva’s for a fresh start.
“I got a lot of support from Eva’s staff. They showed respect right from the start and helped me focus on my goals, attend doctor’s appointments, and provided emotional support when I was going through hard times. They were very involved in helping me get my life on track,” said Stuart.
“The staff takes the time to reach out to each person and strategize how to implement goals and structure for their life, whether it’s housing, work, or mentoring.”
During his time at Eva’s, he gradually opened up to his youth worker and other youth. “Eva’s is a place where a person can definitely be themselves and grow. It’s a place of freedom, where you can express your individuality,” he said.
Stuart participated in movie nights, spring planting, community walks, and played board and card games with other youth. In time, he began to let his guard down and receive the love and support coming his way.
Being able to trust other people helped Stuart move forward in his life, including finding housing and employment. “With reminders and emotional support when I was going through hard times, I was able to stay focused on what I needed to do,” he said.
Today, Stuart has his own place and says he is more stable than ever. He’s looking for a job and keeps in touch with some of the youth he spent time with at Eva’s.
“I learned that if you believe in yourself and expect the best coming from Eva’s, you can achieve your goals. All it takes is just believing.”