Tammy came to our program at the tender age of 14. She was not attending to school, addicted to several illegal drugs and found herself homeless due to the fact that her mother was a drug abuser as well. It was then she entered our Open Hands and was referred to our Tumbleweed Regional Learning Center school were she began to test out of the eighth grade to complete junior high. From then she started high school here and registered for our workforce development program where she received training to become work ready and completed several internships after that. She now sits on the Tumbleweed Youth Advisory Board, created and presented a workshop on “Adultism”, traveled to San Francisco for Community Youth Development Learning Resource Team Workshop, and is helping raise money to travel to Washington to attend The National Network for Youth. She currently has a stable living situation as she is on the waiting list to join the Tumbleweed Young Adult Program, still attending The Tumbleweed Regional High School and now that she just turned 16 she will be looking for employment opportunities.
Pam, a family preserved.
Although Tumbleweed’s focus is to help homeless, neglected, abandoned and abused youth, they help families as well. This is the story of a family who is extremely grateful to have Tumbleweed in their lives. Their life struggles caused them to seek assistance from a collaboration of Tumbleweed programs. Our client in this family has managed to stay on point through all of the struggles her family has faced and we are extremely proud of her. Here’s her story:
“It was in the fall of 2003, my freshman year in High School when my family became homeless. I entered The Open Hands program and was provided with long term care because my parents had to move into a different group home.
I had to learn many things from being in the Open Hands Program. One of them being how to love myself just the way I am and to never let situations in life bring me down. When I got back into a normal schedule I began to form friendships with other people in the program. Another thing that I would have to learn was how to say good-bye to people with whom I had established relationships. I continued to excel in school. I enrolled in JROTC, and the ACE program, which has allowed me to attend Glendale Community College for the past two years. Eventually, I became happy again.
Approximately six months later I was able to leave Open Hands. My parents entered a new group home that assisted them with their drug and alcohol abuse and I was able to live with them. It became very difficult to say good bye to the long lasting relationships that I had developed in Open Hands, however this was a good time for me to leave.
Even though I was officially out of the Open Hands Program, I was still receiving support and services from Tumbleweed's Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program and the Homeless Youth Intervention Program (HYIP). The case managers in these programs kept in contact with me and helped me with everything I needed, especially if it involved high school or college.
Eventually, my parents and I moved into our own apartment. They both had jobs and I was a sophomore in high school. Things were finally going good for me and my parents. Approximately a year went by and due to a situation outside of our control, my mother had to move up to Montana and then a few months later, around February of 2006, my father and I lost our apartment and we had to move into a Motel 6. This was extremely expensive and my father began to get behind on bills.
After living in the Motel for approximately four months Tumbleweed’s WIA case manager gave my father referrals which led to a program that helped him find an apartment that would allow us to move in even with my father’s bad credit and evictions. However, we did not have the money for a down payment. Tumbleweed paid our down payment and helped us get out of the Motel and into the apartment where we currently reside.
Thanks to Tumbleweed we found stability again when the unthinkable happened. My father had a stroke that caused him to have a bad fall. The fall caused him to have a back injury and the stroke left him unable to swallow. I was extremely stressed out. My mother had to return from Montana to help me with my father. My Tumbleweed case managers once again came to our aid.
My father is slowly recovering and our family is back together again. We are very appreciative of all that Tumbleweed has done for us. Not to mention all the help my case manager and Tumbleweed is providing me while I am in the process of graduating from high school and entering Northern Arizona University in the fall of this year.”
Without the help of my case managers and Tumbleweed throughout the years, I do not know where my family would be. They have greatly helped me out and I shall be forever thankful to them for everything.