As our “Be A Champion” Annual Appeal continues, we would like to introduce Jimisha, who participates in Camelot's Tampa Bay Youth Outreach (TBYO) program. Please take a moment to read her story of success.
Jimisha, at the age of 15, became a ward of the state and turned 18 while in foster care. Of course, no 18 year old child should have to be independent but every one’s life is different. So with the help of her Foster Care Transitional Specialist, she learned ways to help become as independent as she could be. After aging out of foster care, things became even harder for her. Still not ready to be all on her own, her grandmother allowed her to live with her. Due to her grandmother's health issues, she needed to be placed in a nursing home, which lead Jimisha to become homeless.
After gaining a part time temp job as a dishwasher Jimisha was able to save enough money to pay for her own car. Since the day she bought her first vehicle she has been literally been sleeping in it. Although she sees herself as “blessed” to be able to own a car, it’s not so easy living out of it, and went on to share "that it is so much better than sleeping on the city bus benches."
Jimisha would like everyone to know the importance of the TBYO program and how beneficial it has been to her and other unaccompanied homeless youth. According to Jimisha, "the program helped me feel like I mattered." Before coming in contact with TBYO, she constantly questioned herself as to why people didn’t care enough to help her. Even though she was no longer in foster care, she felt wanted and cared about thanks to TBYO. She shares that she felt very alone before coming to the program. The program immediately began searching for shelter, and Jimisha shared that Camelot provided her with needed supplies including toiletries, hygiene products, rain coats, tooth brushes, canned foods and even had a water proof blanket. That meant so much to her! Then, TBYO was able to connect her with resources that she never had access to before including helping her find housing. She shared that she couldn’t be more thankful than anything in life right now than being a part of TBYO. Jimisha is looking forward to being placed in a permanent “home” of her own in the coming weeks.
Her future goals are to get back in college, graduate, and start her own day care business. Jamisha aspires to someday become a mentor for other homeless unaccompanied youth so that she can help them in the same way that TBYO has helped her!
If you’d like to help individuals like our "champion" Jimisha, please consider a donation today to the Be A Champion Campaign!
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Any donation large or small makes a difference in the lives of those who go through the Tampa Bay Youth Outreach program!