Darren, a 22-year-old part-time college student and father of two, has been living outside almost a year. He is trying to make his way back to campus and see his son and daughter regularly.
Darren stays at WIND center currently but says he can only stay there a maximum of 30 days.
WIND Youth Services provides supportive services and opportunities to youth experiencing homelessness as they pursue self-determined lives of stability and independence.
“I’ve been living outside almost a year. I have family in town, but everybody is caught in their own things.” Darren says, “I went to American River College and I got three certificates, one in building infrastructure and one in green technology and I have 19 units in different classes and eight of the 19 units are from the STRIPE program.”
STRIPE stands for Sacramento Transportation Regional Infrastructure Partners in Education program. STRIPE is a pre-apprenticeship program through American River College that helps prepare students for jobs in construction and energy/utility industries.
Darren tells me his short-term goal is to get a car, so he can make his way back to school and see his children.
When I asked Darren what he had to overcome today to get to Friendship Park he sits and looks at me silently and doesn’t say a word. A quiet few moments pass. He breaks his silence and speaks softly and at the level of a whisper he says, “A lot of things, I had to overcome a lot to get here today.”