To the editor:
Without the support from the United Way of Story County, Youth & Shelter Services wouldn’t be able to provide the appropriate resources to youth in need, such as our Youth Recovery House that provides residential treatment services to youth dealing with addiction. The funding from United Way of Story County allows YSS to live out its motto – “Helping the next generation soar to a brighter future.” The story below comes from a youth that is now on to a brighter future due to YSS and the United Way of Story County.
“Ever since I was little, I have witnessed alcohol and some drug use. I didn’t really know what alcohol and drugs were, but my mom always told me never to use them. I didn’t experience my first drug encounter until I was 14 years old. I was with some older kids from school and they were all smoking marijuana. I knew I shouldn’t do it, but I was peer pressured into it.
When I took that first hit, my life changed forever. I constantly wanted to use. I didn’t care how I got it, just as long as I got it in the end. I showed my friends marijuana and they liked it, too. By then, we were all stealing, getting into trouble and being very defiant.
I was not only like this with my friends, but at home with my mom as well. I was disrespectful to her and very mouthy. We would argue and yell at each other almost every night. Finally, Mom got sick of it and called the cops. They didn’t really do anything so my behavior didn’t change. When she finally found out I was using drugs, she put me into outpatient treatment. I hated it and continued to use.
I was then told I was going to YSS in Ames. The judge said it was my last shot at treatment or my next stop was the Eldora State Training School. I finally arrived at YSS and saw how beautiful this place is. I know that God was looking out for me by sending me here.
I have now been at YRH for about 42 days and I love it. The staff is here to help guide you to recovery not force you to it. YSS is so much better because it’s so open and free, and we get to go to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings. I can definitely say it feels like a home rather than a facility. YSS has taught me things like how to control my urges and manage my anger. Now, I actually want to go to AA/NA meetings when I get home,” he said.
Stories like these wouldn’t be possible without the funding from United Way of Story County. Thank you again for the support that helps keep a brighter future for the children and youth of today and the days to come.
Dr. George Belitsos, CEO
Youth & Shelter Services, Inc.