Meet Shaun, a Former Supportive Housing Resident
Shaun Ingram was one of the first residents at our West Harlem LGBTQ supportive housing site (then True Colors Residence) when it opened fall 2011.
She’d spent two years couch-surfing and in and out of shelters when she learned about us through Streetwork, a drop-in center for homeless youth.
Shaun was one month shy of her twenty- first birthday when she moved into apartment 3C, excited to have her own studio apartment but frustrated by some of the rules. “I used to be a problem child,” admits Shaun.
Shaun describes herself as a high-functioning depressive. While a resident, she found work she finds meaningful—first working at a men’s shelter (“These could be your family… my uncles… my brothers,” says Shaun) and now for a family shelter.
But Shaun struggled to pay her bills, and she often clashed with the West Harlem site director and the life skills program manager. She recalls being frustrated with herself that she wasn’t ready for more independent living: “I wasn’t ready to transition and I’m mad at y’all because I’m not there. Right?”
When the pandemic hit, Shaun reassessed. “I felt like I was ready and asked for the help. The people committed to the work. I committed to the work,” says Shaun. She worked with her life skills manager to improve her credit score. She applied for moving assistance and housing vouchers. Last year Shaun moved to her own independent apartment.
“I was able to find my dream home. It had everything that I always wanted—even a balcony,” says Shaun.
Shaun’s story continues in the next article about a new peer-to-peer program for current and former supportive housing residents.
Thank you, Shaun, for sharing your story!