Campus of Change

Ending Homelessness in the Fox Valley

Finding Home

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 by
A COTS Resident Testimonial

unnamed (3)“I was homeless for nine days. I lived out of my car.” Tobias moved into COTS’ Young Adult Program nearly three months ago after his stint living out of his car. The 20-year-old had been kicked out of his adopted parents’ home after repeated clashes with them.

Tobias’ life has been one of constant upheaval, rarely having stability for more than a few years at a time. Tobias and his five sisters were all adopted from Poland when he was a child. Imagine being just nine years old, shuffled from country to country, state to state, group home to group home.

 Reconnecting with Family

Fast forward several years later, and Tobias was taken in by members of his church. “They made me get my first job,” he remembers, and he was able to complete his G.E.D. His foster care case worker gave him a plane ticket so that he was able to visit one of his sisters. His sister had been adopted by a family in Wisconsin, and he was able to see her for the first time in five years.

Tobias stayed in touch with his sister and her family, and once he turned 18, they told him that he could move in with them. Tobias made the move from Missouri to Wisconsin, and became a part of their family. Tobias enrolled in college, but felt overwhelmed by some of his classes, and stopped going to school. “After that, I started going downhill,” he explains. He increasingly had conflicts with his adopted parents, which led to him being kicked out of the house.

Finding Home

Tobias was able to move into COTS, and started a new job the next day. He immediately began saving up his money. “Things started turning around after that…I have a better relationship with my parents after realizing the wrong things I’ve done to them.” This week, in fact, he is going over to their house to help decorate for Christmas.

What has he learned while at COTS? “Responsibility,” he says definitively. “That was a big one. And knowing that there are people out there who are willing to help others.” He plans to re-enroll in school for business management, and ultimately wants to “travel the world for sure.” He hopes to visit his family in Poland again some day. Tobias has finally found the stability he needs in order to achieve his dreams.