Savannah has been involved with Choices for Youth (CFY) programming since last year. When living at home was no longer an option for Savannah, she bounced between shelters and CSSD placements until she eventually connected with CFY’s RallyForward program.
“I was done being forgotten about, so I made a referral to RallyForward. I met with them, and my mom moved me back home that same night because we knew that I was going to be getting supports.”
RallyForward provided a number of supports that helped establish and maintain stability in Savannah’s home life. The RallyForward team worked with Savannah, giving her the knowledge and tools that she would need to eventually transition to an independent living situation.
“From the start, I thought RallyForward was a great idea because it gave me a chance to move home because my mom knew that I was able to have people come into our house and help me with all the stuff I needed. Cleaning, getting to appointments, getting schoolwork done…they were able to give my mom a schedule and stick to that schedule. That was all she wanted. Our relationship was getting better because we weren’t fighting all the time…we weren’t fighting about dishes or garbage in my room because the RallyForward staff would come in to help take it out.”
Despite receiving tremendous support from her mother and seeing improvements in their relationship, both Savannah and her mother knew that living at home was not the best option. The difference this time was that Savannah now had the support of both her mother and RallyForward.
“It was nice to have somewhere to fall. I wasn’t left to find a shelter for myself. I was able to call RallyForward up and tell them I had nowhere to go, knowing that they would help me find somewhere to go.”
RallyForward did just that, helping Savanah move into one of their housing units and ensuring that she had everything she needed to continue developing the skills she would need to live independently. Savannah made tremendous progress while living at the RallyForward housing unit.
I have changed so much from even just two months ago by being in RallyForward. You’re constantly changing because you’re constantly learning things. Your life is much less difficult if you’re willing to learn and willing to let people help you.
“Before I got kicked out the first time, I felt like I couldn’t live alone…I don’t know how to live alone, I don’t have all the necessary skills to live alone. But now I have RallyForward and I have my Social Worker and I have all these other supports that have made me able to live by myself and have those skills to be able to clean my room, do my dishes, do my laundry, all that stuff, by myself, without having to rely on supportive housing. I finally have people on my side, after not having anyone on my side.”
Savannah will be moving into her own home in the near future. While she is confident that she has learned the skills she needs to succeed in an independent living situation, she finds comfort in knowing that RallyForward will continue to support her.
“It’s nice because when I move into my new house, RallyForward can still come and help me there. So even though I’m moving out of their housing, they can still support me.”
Savannah is also benefiting from the relationships she has developed in the RallyForward program. RallyForward holds a recreation group weekly on Saturdays, allowing program participants to engage in activities and socialize with their peers.
“Sometimes we’ll go swimming, or bowling, or just go for a walk. You’re able to meet other individuals who may not be in the exact same circumstance as you, but they are in the program for a reason. RallyForward doesn’t just open you up to new opportunities in life – it also opens up friendships. I struggled socially and was bullied, so finding friends so easily in this program and with CFY has been great.”
“My staff are some of my absolute best friends. I feel like I can tell them everything. They will never judge you, at all. It’s a very open community”
Savannah has learned a lot about herself during her time with RallyForward and has experienced incredible personal growth. One of the biggest lessons she has learned is that it is okay to ask others for help.
“People always struggle with being open to receiving help. It makes them feel like they are less than everyone else. I think it’s important to be open to people’s help because if you do, you could be so much farther in life than you were three months ago. I have changed so much from even just two months ago by being in RallyForward. You’re constantly changing because you’re constantly learning things. Your life is much less difficult if you’re willing to learn and to let people help you.”
Savannah intends to finish her high school education over the next couple of years and then pursue post-secondary opportunities. In addition to having an extremely supportive mom, RallyForward has truly supported Savannah in unlocking her potential and helped her grow into the confident and capable young woman that she is today.
“I want to finish high school, I want to go to college, and I want to get a good job. I’m so thankful to have such a supportive mom. I want to succeed because I want to show everybody that I’m able to do it, people just needed to give me a chance.”