Play Shelby's story below.
Do you remember the first time you had your own place to call home? I do. I also remember what it was like not to have one – to drift in and out of homelessness for years and think, “I can’t keep doing this." Those four years after I aged out of the child welfare system were the most traumatic years of my life and I’m honestly surprised I survived.
Thankfully, that’s when I found Mile High United Way and my new home.
When I first came to Mile High United Way, I questioned whether this program would be any different than the others I’d been a part of. But staff members like Tawny quickly proved that Mile High United Way was different.
Within months, they helped me move into my first apartment, get medical insurance and connect me with other resources. I was so proud to be turning my life around.
Every day, Mile High United Way helps connect young adults aging out of the child welfare system, like me, to the resources we need to thrive.
This holiday season, you can help even more young adults and their families by supporting Mile High United Way with a year-end gift.
With a stable home, I can focus on reaching other goals, like obtaining my GED and advocating on behalf of other foster youth. I’m engaged in part-time advocacy work with Colorado Poverty Law Project and plan to continue working in foster care emancipation advocacy. I even testified before the Colorado State Legislature with Mile High United Way earlier this year in support of legislation to help other former foster youth.
The support I received from Mile High United Way helped me move out of survival mode. I now ask myself, “What does my future look like?” I’ve experienced healing and I’m excited to create change for others. I have dreams of opening a transitional housing complex for foster youth, domestic violence survivors and others in need of safe, stable housing.
When you support Mile High United Way with a monetary gift this holiday season, you will help even more families receive the essential support they need in the coming year.
From connecting young adults to safe, stable housing so we can focus on our dreams and goals, to helping Metro Denver families meet their basic needs, Mile High United Way is changing lives every day.
This work is only possible because of donors like you who understand our community is strongest when we work together to help every family achieve their dreams, big or small.
This year, I invite you to give hope to families like mine – Give United.
Happy holidays to your family,
P.S. – Thank you again for helping me build a brighter future.