When Ronnie was referred to Connecting Youth six months ago he was unemployed, not in school, and struggling to succeed with the level of support he had. DORS and his mental health provider were both in the process of discharging him from their supportive employment program because he could not seem to maintain a job, even with the level of support he was receiving. He struggled to communicate with his supports and supervisors because of his anxiety.
Once Ronnie was referred, the CY staff was able to quickly intervene and act as a liaison between him and his service providers. Additionally, the program staff connected Ronnie to BERC and Change, Inc. Through BERC, Ronnie began taking math classes to prepare for further education and driving lessons to obtain his permit. BERC offered him a paid work experience that perfectly matched his interest and strengths. Chage, Inc. has been supporting him throughout this process and will job coach him while he is at his paid work experience.
In addition, CY staff have been helping him navigate the social service system and were able to assist him in securing food stamp benefits. When Ronnie was feeling too anxious to go grocery shopping by himself, staff accompanied him and assisted him in making healthy, nutritional choices and taught him to prepare easy meals. Ronnie has also become a regular in the CY support group and attends every week. He has made meaningful friendships and has been able to have discussions about mental health, resiliency, and mindfulness in a safe and supportive environment.