. . . it’s just a beauty knowing that I have resources and people to rely on when I need help.

When COVID struck in 2020, I was a senior in high school and didn’t have a place to live. A lot of the time I was couch surfing, staying with family members or friends. I was working, but I was bouncing around with no real stability. It was confusing because everywhere I went, I actually paid rent. I’ve always tried to contribute to wherever I was residing at. Still, I didn’t feel any kind of safety and wasn’t moving forward with my life.

I decided I just had to brainstorm and invest all my time into myself, which for me meant finding my own apartment and using the resources that are eligible to me. Luckily I found CV’s Harlem Apartments, which was the first step to me getting to the next level. Having my own space is really essential. It allowed me to be comfortable, have peace of mind, and I’m really a lot more calm now. I’ve learned a lot and get the support I need from the CV team. I cook, I clean and preform all of the necessary household tasks that I used to do for other people, but now I get to do it in my own space. Getting an apartment helped me get back into trade school and learn things that I thought I would have never learned. I took my MTA test this November and I passed! If it wasn’t for having my apartment, I never would have gotten back in school, gotten a waiver to cover my fee for the MTA test, and so much more – it’s just a beauty knowing that I have resources and people to rely on when I need help.

I still know individuals who are homeless and couch surfing, and what I tell them is you have to dedicate your time and your effort towards the good, not the things that waste your energy. Make sure at the end of the day that you’re good and upholding your sanity. For me, that meant focusing on getting my own space. Waking up every day and just breathing, just being happy where I’m at…I just feel grateful. I’m only 21, this is just a stepping stone for me, the first of many. I have a long life to live, and I hope to just live it to the fullest.

Angel lives in CV’s Harlem Apartments, which are reserved for young people who have aged out of foster care. The Harlem Building at 127th and Adam Clayton Powell provides affordable apartments that are safe, beautiful, and full of the amenities that young people and families deserve. The building is in the heart of Harlem, close to transportation and grocery stores, and includes wraparound support services for young people.

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