Sasha Bruce

When Deon (21 years old) was brought up at a shared provider meeting to discuss whether he should be placed in a housing program, his previous provider mentioned that he is currently living with his family.  They were seriously struggling to make ends meet, the family was in frequent conflict, and there was some risk that they may not be able to maintain having Deon in the home.  Before placing him into a housing program, we reached out to see if he and his family were interested in our Strengthening Foundations family support program to prevent homelessness.

Deon expressed great enthusiasm to join the program and was highly engaged from the beginning. Our Family Specialist immediately began providing individual and family therapy and very soon after we noticed a shift in the family dynamics. Previously, Deon and his brother were in conflict over Deon’s unemployment, and mom frequently had to intervene to deescalate arguments, and was tired of being caught in the middle between them.  The family set goals of improving their communication, reducing conflict in the home, and Deon had an individual goal to gain employment.

Along with counseling Deon individually and meeting for family sessions, we provided resources such as grocery gift cards for Deon to contribute to the family.  We also gave them tickets to sporting events such as the Redksins and Nationals games, and Deon was able to spend some time with his brother bonding over shared activities. His relationship with his mom and brother became a source of joy and support rather than one of continued conflict.  We checked in regularly to work with him on his resume and job applications.  Within 3 months, he gained full time employment, and he is planning to move in with his brother in their own apartment.  We continue to meet with them to maintain and build on the progress they’ve made, and are so proud of them as they support each other in establishing their independence .