As we look back at the remarkable journeys of our 360 Youth Services clients, one of the most inspirational is Ward. Ward had been turned away from family and even an overnight homeless shelter during his time of despair. Just 20 and with nowhere to call home, he slept on bus stop benches. An aspiring poet, he spent many of his days at Nichols Library, writing.
Once he found 360 Youth Services Transitional Housing Program, he not only found a bedroom of his own, but he also found hope. He secured a job and continued to write poetry about what he had experienced while homeless. This past month at the Annual 360 Youth Services Gala, Ward’s poetry about being without a home was expressed in a video. After the video, Ward addressed the encouraging crowd, sharing personally the profound changes in his life. Some of his words are as follows:
“You took a stranger, and calmed his anger. You saw my ambition, and gave me direction. You read my dark chapters, and taught me how to write a brighter future. You took my sorrow and gave me a home.”
Now 23, Ward is one of the first two former 360 housing clients serving in the Graduate Leadership Program providing current residents with peer mentorship and serving as a positive role model. He’s also looking toward college and getting his poems published. Ward says life is like a book; the chapter he’s currently writing is where Ward is now.