My family of choice helped me become whole again

After staying in an emergency apartment for three months, I entered a young adult Rapid Re-housing program. I received housing and a case manager for two whole years. The program gave me a lot of supports and opportunities, yet I was still struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Having a stable place to stay was the foundation for my recovery. If I hadn’t received that assistance, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. But it wasn’t until I attended an LGBT outpatient therapy group that I found people that loved me and understood me. There’s a certain bond that occurs when you have shared struggles. I don’t think I would have ever been able to overcome depression without all the other LGBT young people I met at these groups. Having love in my life gave me reason to live. Although I was lucky to have received assistance with housing, I didn’t feel like I had a home and a purpose until I found friendship and love with others again.

Natalie Garcia (Hartford, CT)

Bio:  My dream is to continue doing bigger and better things. I want to learn more every day and work with many people because I strongly value knowledge, discussion, and problem solving. My goal is to get my PhD and to one day become a college professor.

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