Young Adults at Water Street

Imagine growing up without something you’d call home. You move around from place to place, sometimes staying with your family in an apartment or other times living out of an office or hotel. It becomes hard to form lasting relationships at school, and when you’re there, you’re an easy target for bullying.

By the time you graduate, your home life was so full of chaos that you have no direction for your life. One night, your parents send you out on your own, and at 18, with no money, no job, and little belongings, you come to Water Street Mission.

That’s what happened to Noah*. Now 19, he’s part of a small but growing group of young adults staying at Water Street. With his bright, big smile and bouncy mannerisms, it’s hard to imagine those hard parts of his story. But the truth was more complicated. “My household was always uncertain. It made it hard for me to figure out what I wanted to do in the future. So I had no plans for the future.”

With very few connections built from years of moving around, these young guests need somewhere to go when they are turned out at 18. In Noah’s case, he called 2-1-1 and came here. “I was terrified,” he says, adding shyly, “But I also was kind of happy I didn’t have to sleep outside.”

While he was glad to have a bed, Noah knew he needed more than that. Like many young people, he had a lot of questions about himself and his relationship with God. “Even though I don’t have my family. I don’t have many friends,” he says, “I was hoping to figure out how I fit in this world.”

In the midst of COVID, Noah ventured deeper into the Water Street community, taking financial courses and even creative ones like writing. He’s learning where he does fit in, amongst other artists for example, and growing in his walk with God. He’s also gained more clarity on his future and wants to go to art school one day. “I wanna do murals. I just wanna give back to people,” he says.

We’re so excited to see young adults growing in vision here at Water Street! Thank you for helping make that possible!

*Name and photo changed for anonymity.