The Horizons Program offers transition services to young adults who leave foster care and need assistance to live on their own. The program has two parts: a residence for males where occupants can stay up to 24 months under supervision and guidance, and a community outreach component that serves both males and females. The goal of both is to help young adults develop the life skills necessary to be on their own and to support them emotionally so they can develop the self-confidence to live independently.
De’Andrew Paysinger represents the positive outcomes of the program. His journey began in Oakland, CA when he was removed from his biological family at birth and placed with an aunt. When he was five, he moved to Hawai‘i where he stayed with his aunt’s family until he was 15 years old. As a teenager, there were adult behavioral issues that warranted De’Andrew’s placement with a foster family.
He spent the next few years with a new family and then the time came when he outgrew the system. Fortunately, his foster mom had heard about the Horizons program from a friend and De’Andrew was subsequently interviewed for placement in the small group home. After two years in that setting, he was ready for the next step: his own apartment.
When asked how the Horizons program has helped him, De’Andrew replied, “A lot of things in so many ways.” He shared that at one time, he was totally self-centered; now he makes time for others, helping when he can and opening up about himself. He has learned to manage his finances and feels more self-assured. Horizons also prepared him for his current job, searching through the classifieds, filling out applications, coaching him for interviews and providing transportation to the appointment.
He is proud to report that he has held his job at this high profile clothing store for two years, has already been promoted, and was recently recognized as an “All Star” employee. He was praised for being a hard worker and for assisting others in the store.
Perhaps the most tangible evidence of his growth is his car. With the matching funds available to employed clients in the program, De’Andrew was able to save enough money to buy his own car and pay for the insurance and maintenance. A young man with a job and a car, in his own apartment, are matches made in heaven.
And his journey is just beginning. De’Andrew has aspirations in the music arena. He writes lyrics, composes music, and sings, performing for friends. He hopes to continue his musical goals in college.
Along his life path, De’Andrew has received a hand up from unexpected sources, one of them being Catholic Charities Hawai‘i. His self-confidence will open many new doors for him as he ventures toward new horizons