"I was on track to play D1 basketball, and things changed. I’m so thankful to the staff for the dedication and undying determination to help me jump start my life again and allow me to be humble."
Felipe was a promising scholar and athlete, traveling from North Carolina to play D1 basketball here in New Jersey. But deep down, Felipe was struggling. The academic pressure and demands of being a D1 athlete were overwhelming. He became severely depressed and admittedly even suicidal. He had no family nearby and no support system. He fell on hard times, and going back home was not an option. He found a temporary solution volunteering at a local church in exchange for a place to stay. It was there he got connected with the Mental Health Association and found his way to Homeless Solutions.
He arrived at our doors a broken young man. His dreams of playing basketball and going to college were gone; he was depressed and unsure of his future. But it didn't take long before he began feeling hopeful again. Felipe took great comfort knowing he had a support system at HSI. As a guest in our Safe Haven Program, he regained his confidence and expanded his life skills. Just when Felipe thought he was back on his feet, the COVID-19 epidemic struck and placed more obstacles in his way.
Despite these challenges, he graduated from our program and is proud to be self-sufficient again. He has a job and is living on his own in a one-bedroom apartment nearby. It was a long, difficult journey for him, and he expressed humility and gratitude to the staff, "Thank you for your dedication and undying determination to help me jump start my life again, and allowing me to be humble."