Torani is a proud partner of The Coffee Oasis, who provided support to a young woman named Heather. Today we'd like to share a few words about Heather and her story:

Heather initially became homeless when her mom moved out of state. She found various places to couch surf and at times lived on the streets, but nothing was ever permanent. She temporarily moved to Minnesota to live with a friend and her aunt for a few weeks, but those options were not long term solutions.

After exhausting all possible options for a place to call home, her dad, who didn’t have custody, bought her a plane ticket to come back to Washington and told her she needed to find a shelter to go to. Heather reached out to every youth shelter in Washington until she got a hold of The Coffee Oasis.

“I was stressing out. I had nowhere to go. I had no idea what I was going to do. I was calling shelter after shelter and they were just full. These places are in high demand. There are always youth struggling out there who need to go to shelters.” Miraculously, she received a call from The Coffee Oasis youth shelter right as her plane landed. She immediately got on the community transit bus to head to The Coffee Oasis.

While at The Coffee Oasis, Heather began to establish goals with her case manager and set the goal of going back to Job Corps-a schooling program that provides youth ages 16-24 with housing while training in a job trade and obtaining a GED or high school diploma.

Previously, she had attended Job Corps, but needed to leave to work through depression and anxiety. One of the conditions of going back to Job Corps was to engage in mental health therapy. At The Coffee Oasis, Heather worked with her case manager to set up mental health therapy. “It was really hard to find a therapist without having the right insurance and not being able to pay for it.” However, they successfully found an option for therapy where she has learned some great skills.

Recently, Heather received a call from the wellness director at Job Corps letting her know she met all the requirements to return. Heather is excited and grateful for the assistance The Coffee Oasis provided to make this possible. “I’m so happy, and I’m so grateful for this place, because if it weren’t for The Coffee Oasis I wouldn’t have been able to meet all these requirements. It’s been fantastic. I am so happy.”

Heather is thankful for her experience at The Coffee Oasis because it was her first positive experience with a shelter. “I will never forget how amazing this place is. I was struggling so hard and now I have so much set up for me. I have so much figured out in a month of being here. I have so much gratitude and appreciation for all they’ve done for me.”

Heather is excited to begin the office administration program at Job Corp and work on her GED. She has hope for the future. “I hope to take all my negative experiences and what I’ve gone through and help other people. I want to spread the word about places like these that can help other youth who are homeless or living on the streets. I want to use my story to impact others.”

As she reflects on her experience at The Coffee Oasis, Heather expresses the crucial resource it provides. “It’s not just another one of those shelters that I’ve been to where they really only house you. Other shelters don’t provide any of that support the youth need. We need more shelters like this (The Coffee Oasis). They’ve provided a lot of comfort, and they’ve provided the support I don’t have from my family. To have the staff by my side is super amazing.”