DeShawn, a participant in our No More Victims (NMVI) program, has come a long way since he joined the group. He recently shared with his peers that he had been beaten, homeless, with few clothes and no food. He explained that his mother has been diagnosed with mental health disorders, refuses to take her medication, and regularly threw him out of the home for no apparent reason. DeShawn’s father is in the penitentiary and he has no other family – until now.

We immediately provided DeShawn with food, clothing and temporary residential placement. In partnership with the HISD Homeless Education Department, we were able to arrange a more stable residential placement and a junior college scholarship so that he can play football while working towards his college education.

From a despairing young man who had given up hope and felt he would have taken his own life, he now has hope for a happier future. In spite of being heartbroken over his mother’s illness, instability, and ill treatment of him, DeShawn realizes that until she takes her medication and gets off drugs, there is little chance that he will have the relationship with her that he desires.

Recently elected Sergeant at Arms in his school’s NMVI program, he stands at the door with his arms crossed, ready to be the gatekeeper and protect our family. DeShawn has become a hero to other NMVI students and will be part of the graduation celebration this year. We cannot wait to honor his courage and success!

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No More Victims Inc., a COCI Signature program, supports teens and young adults whose parents are in jail or prison, and helps them avoid becoming incarcerated themselves.