Ethan’s Story

Nov 28, 2022 | Annual Fund, Fundraising, News, Uncategorized

We all know things have been tough this year – we see our family, friends, and neighbors struggling with stress, health and mental health issues, and rising inflation.

Imagine how much harder it is for homeless young people like Ethan.*

Ethan was 18 years old when he first engaged with New Beginnings. He’d experienced intense family conflict leading to a long period of “couch-hopping” between the homes of friends and extended family, and was disconnected from school.

I was struggling and scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen in my life.

After a trusted adult helped Ethan find New Beginnings, things began to change. Ethan sometimes had to ride his bike from over an hour away to get to our Lewiston Drop-In Center because he needed a safe place to get warm, eat, and be welcomed by caring adults instead of being harassed. More than once, Ethan stayed at our youth shelter because he had no place else to go.

Marian’s Place 24-hour shelter changed Ethan’s life by offering the solid footing he needed for a fresh start. Ethan hadn’t been able to finish high school because of frequent moves, so he attended our Education and Employment program during his stays at the shelter.

Education & Employment staff helped Ethan enroll in Auburn Adult Education to complete the few credits he needed to get his diploma. While working on his diploma, the Marian’s Place shelter staff helped him move into our Transitional Living Program (TLP) community living apartments.

“Before New Beginnings, I didn’t know what was going to happen in my life.  I am a different person now than when I first came here – a better person. The staff are super friendly. This is a 100% safe place and so helpful for me. I quit using substances to deal with things.  I’m now in college, which I wouldn’t have done without New Beginnings.”

Our supporters’ donations to New Beginnings’ outreach, shelter, & housing programs made a difference for Ethan.

While living at TLP this past year, Ethan worked with his case manager to improve his life skills and gained self-confidence on Adventure Challenge trips. Once he finished with his diploma work, Education & Employment staff continued to assist Ethan with resume building, and then finding and keeping a good-paying job so he could save money.

Ethan was able to walk for Adult Ed graduation in June 2022 surrounded by supportive friends and extended family.

Today, Ethan’s working to find stable housing to move into when he leaves the TLP and pursuing a community college business degree under Maine’s new free community college tuition.

“Without New Beginnings, I never would have gone to college, and I would be stuck in a dead-end job. I hope more youth can take full advantage of New Beginnings!”

Your investment helps ensure that 24 hours/day, 365 days/year homeless youth can find a friendly face, kind words, a hot meal, and a warm, safe place to sleep when they have nowhere else to go. 

Nationally, one in ten young adults age 18-25 will become homeless at least once each year. Even one homeless youth is too many. Please help us reach our $90,000 annual fund 2022 goal and maintain New Beginnings’ critical outreach, shelter, and housing services.

Together, we can show young people like Ethan that even when things seem hopeless, there are helpful people who care and want them to succeed.

Please give youth like Ethan the gift of hope today.