Twenty-two year old resident Raymond, is determined to buy a house. “I’d like to own a home – I’m tired of apartments – and I want to buy a car.” His social worker in the Rights of Passage program backs him up, “He’s a hard worker. He sets his sights on his goals and he is very motivated and determined,” she stated. “I have no doubt he will reach his goals.”
Growing up in the foster care system and getting a good look at street life didn’t make Raymond a likely candidate for success, but his own observations and the intervention of an older cousin, may have saved his life. Raymond has at least two relatives in jail – one likely to be in for a few decades – but that isn’t the life he wants for himself. “I’ve been good at talking to people since I was young so it seemed like selling drugs would be easy,” Raymond shared, “but I had an older cousin who kept telling me, ‘Raymond, it’s not worth five bucks on the street. Don’t get into that.'”
“Luckily, my cousin offered me an alternative so I could use my natural talents doing something that was legal,” Raymond said. His cousin had starting selling colognes on the street, buying wholesale and retailing items at a good price to people who couldn’t access specialty items in the local corner stores. He talked Raymond into joining him. Raymond is convinced his cousin’s intervention saved him from getting caught up in illegal activity.
Eventually Raymond’s cousin was injured in a car accident and while he was recovering, Raymond wasn’t able to keep up on their housing. He called Covenant House looking for a place to stay while he got on his feet. Raymond’s previous work involved long hours outside, talking to people all seasons of the year. While it paid bills, it was exhausting. After he arrived at CHM, he quickly took staffs’ advice and started applying for permanent jobs.
It didn’t take long for him to find a position with a local finishing company and recently completed his third month of employment there. “Since I’m used to working hard and I don’t get tired easily, I’m working as many hours as I can,” Raymond declared. “I’m going to save up and never be in this position again.” With an attitude like that, we have no doubt that car and house are somewhere in his future!