“Stay Positive, Don’t Ever Give Up” ~ Dekari J.
Dekari J. (19), a student at Broward College is currently housed with Broward Housing Solutions® (BHS®) as a tenant in their Youth Solutions® program in Hollywood. Youth Solutions® provides affordable housing for young adults, 18 – 23 years old who have aged out of the foster care system.
Living with his foster family changed Dekari. He was living on the street with his parents who struggled with substance abuse. He hung out with gangs and all changed when he got in to foster care. Dekari said: “That’s all I knew. Even though I was violent and angry, I stayed in school. School was important to me – the main thing. Now it’s good. I found it important to stay positive and don’t ever give up.”
When giving advice to anyone who is living with a lot of challenges, Dekari says, “Just be yourself, don’t hang out with people who have negativity. Find an adult who knows what they are doing plus always looking for the positivity. If someone has a negative vibe, don’t go near them. Stick to someone who is nice, generous and willing to help you out. That’s what I did.”
Dekari’s goal for school, is to first graduate and then “to become a computer engineer or any kind of engineer.”Or he says he would like to get in to photography as he likes fashion and taking pictures.
About BHS®: In December 2008, BHS® inaugurated its Youth Solutions® program. This affordable housing program addresses the immediate needs for long-term stability and contributing and productive citizens creating a significant social benefit: Youth Solutions® reduces substantial financial strains on our communities such as incarceration and substance abuse. To date, Youth Solutions® successfully transitioned 36-post foster care youth to independent living (e.g. youth were reunited with their families, are residing in their own homes, and furthered and completed their education). While these young men and women may struggle with emotional disturbances, BHS®’ supportive housing services in partnership with SOS Children Villages and Henderson Behavioral Health, to promote both short-and-long-term success to self-sufficiency, the ultimate goal. Youth Solutions® is part of a coordinated system empowering aging out-of-foster care youth to navigate the complex health and social service systems in Broward County. Finally, Youth Solutions® solidifies three points: 1. Prevents Homelessness 2. Provides Opportunity 3. Addresses Social Benefit.