Living the Childhood Dream
Unfortunately it is all too common for generations of children being born into homelessness. This cycle goes back through generations with no end in sight. When this little guy started in our program around the age of 6 years old. He was living in a car with his single mom and one of the sisters. Truly the two siblings were all they had. Mom had already given away 2 older children and was continuing her same pattern of having children and moving on. Mom found a boyfriend to move into a home (this is very common to find a man to live with), and the abuse began for this child. The sad fact is that the stereotype drug addiction put on homeless people is part of the problem, it is part of the reason the cycle continues. Without complete residential treatment the habit will not end. Without the support from a social service program, the children will just be lost in the system until they turn 18 and start their own cycle of poverty and lifestyle of which they were born.
While in our program this little guy was one of the brave ones, one who asked to hold the fire hose on our field trip during our Adventures Abound Camp. He wasn't afraid to ask, perhaps because he had been left on his own for so long. He was so proud of this experience and talked about it for weeks to come.
As his journey went on, mom eventually got into drug rehab, the children when to stay with their grown sister, and our journey with him continued as he grew to a jr. leader and eventually a teen mentor.
His sophomore year in college he was on the football and wrestling team doing well and had a bright future in sports. We were there to support his needs and assure he was able to participate and be part of the team. Earning good grades and studying hard also earned him a spot in the future career program at the school. He applied and during his senior year he was accepted into the fire fighting academy. The only requirements on him was to graduate with good grades, stay in shape and he would have his ticket to success and what we say, "escaping the cycle of homelessness"
This little guy didn't have much of a chance in life without intervention and our program that is designed to help children succeed.
We truly feel that our Adventures Abound Camp is the key to opening their minds to what is around them and the possibilities out there for them to dream about. This story is not unique for our program to see. YES!! It is very unique and unheard of in the general setting of homelessness, but our programs change lives and help end the cycle that plagues Hawai'i.