Dakota’s story was initially featured during this year’s National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 10 – 18, 2018), as we sought to highlight client-resident stories to help people understand what homelessness looks like and how bright futures are possible for people after leaving Pinellas Hope.
Dakota is a 21-year old who came to Pinellas Hope in September. Dakota is originally from Florida but moved with his mom and siblings to Connecticut. In Connecticut he started using marijuana. His school work and general behavior suffered and after a while his mom kicked him out of the house. He soon dropped out of school altogether and returned to Florida on his own.
With no school and no family, his life continued to spiral downward. Dakota found himself in a relationship that would not last, he became depressed and turned to cocaine and alcohol. After totaling his car, he didn’t have a way to get to work. Soon, he was out of money and eventually evicted from his apartment. The streets became his home. Eventually he found his way to Safe Harbor, a shelter service for homeless people involved in the Pinellas County criminal justice system. He learned about Pinellas Hope and soon made his way here with us. Dakota is now drug free and planning on leaving Pinellas Hope to attend Job Corp., a program that trains students in a trade.
We wish him luck and cannot wait to see what his future holds!!