Jasmines’ story is one that resonates with many inner city youth.
Jasmine Garland, 20, was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and has spent the majority of her life living in East Baltimore. Jasmine’s mother was not present in her life and her father was very inconsistent in his role as her parent so, she often spent her childhood being cared for by her loving Aunt Barbara. As a teenager, Jasmine worked hard to graduate from Reach Partnership High School in 2017 and continued her education with Baltimore City Community College. However, life experiences dealt Jasmine several roadblocks which caused her to halt her educational pursuits.
During this time, Jasmine found herself homeless and living on the streets of Baltimore in abandoned houses. One day, she made the decision to seek help from the Joy Baltimore Program directed by Mr. Lonnie Walker. It was difficult for some to believe that she was homeless because of the way she carried herself; but it was all true. Mr. Walker then introduced Jasmine to St. Ambrose. At the moment, Jasmine admits that this was the happiest she had ever been! She was about to finally be off the street and living in a home, which was an accomplishment Jasmine hadn’t imagined possible. Unfortunately, tragedy came knocking at Jasmines’ door and she learned that her dear Aunt Barbara had passed away. She would now be faced with living her life without the one person who had always been her guide. But Jasmine tried her best to move forward.
The grief and loss began to settle in and Jasmine started to become more and more depressed. At times, Jasmine found herself in a room where everyone was there to celebrate her accomplishments, but she still felt alone. St. Ambrose stepped in to provide therapeutic intervention and Jasmine decided to continue services to address those feelings of grief and loss, one day at a time. During this period, St. Ambrose helped Jasmine connect with a home provider who welcomed her into their safe place that she could call home.
Since then, Jasmine has transitioned from the home sharer’s home to a more independent St. Ambrose program call Hope House. Hope House houses youth (18-24) who need more than the 90 days that the Host Home Program offers to prepare them for long-term sustainable housing. Program participants live in one of our two Hope House properties and receive case management services from St. Ambrose staff. In Hope House, Jasmine shares a home of her own with one other Youth participant.
“The process was very difficult for me because I had to get used to living with other people and calling the house ‘my home’. When I was living in an abandoned building, I isolated myself from everyone, and I was comfortable that way.”
Jasmine’s message to those considering sharing their home is simple:
“If you allow someone to move into your home, please take the time to get to know the person and set clear rules and expectations. We, as youth, need guidance and structure, not indifference.”
Interested in becoming a Host? Looking for new opportunities? Our Homesharing Department has been working throughout COVID-19 so that individuals and families alike can achieve security and stability while maintaining their health and safety.
To learn more, contact Homesharing at St. Ambrose today by calling 410-366-8550 ext. 248.