James doesn’t remember his mother. He was removed from her care when he was just two years old. He has vague memories of some visits, but when she died from a drug overdose when he was six, he was too young to understand.
Relatives took him in, but when the little boy became a burden, he was sent to a series of foster homes. As a teenager, he began to realize the magnitude of the losses in his life, and James turned his anger and grief inward.
“I spent a lot of time drawing, playing my guitar, and skipping school,” he explained.
James turned 18 and “aged out” of the child welfare system with nowhere to go and without the skills and resources to live on his own. Luckily, he was accepted at My Place, where he could stay and get help figuring out where his life was going. Counseling, part-time work and independent-living skills workshops have helped him take the first steps toward independence.
James finished high school and is now enrolled in college…stepping stones to a brighter future. He thinks his mother would be proud.