“LIFT is My Number One”

By LIFT on February 17, 2016

Categories: Real Stories

“It’s not your fault that you are in that situation due to ignorance, but it is your fault for staying in that situation because there is always a way out.” – Mr. Ryan Warren

For Mr. Warren, his way out was LIFT-DC.

After being permanently disabled due to a childhood accident and dealing with a family member’s death during adulthood, Mr. Warren overcame challenges that, at the time, seemed impossible.  Living on the street and dealing with psychological issues, he came to LIFT-DC’s Perry School Office. With the help of his Advocate, he began seeing a therapist and moved into a short-term crisis housing. He says “LIFT is my number one!”

The relationship between him and his Advocate helped create the building blocks to mend his relationship with Ryan Jr., his son. Mr. Warren gained the capacity to provide for his son physically and emotionally after his own basic needs were met.  Ryan Jr. watched his father pull himself up, and as a result of the stabilization and support in his life, became an AmeriCorps NCCC member in California for ten months.

Mr. Warren was determined to make it to his son’s graduation from the AmeriCorps program but did not have the funds to fly to California. Facing another challenge, he worked towards his goal with persistence. He created multiple fundraising campaign pages and made flyers to raise enough money to watch his son’s next milestone.  Even with his determination, he could only raise $60. As a last effort, he visited Catholic Charities for support. When he arrived at the office, they were expecting him – they would pay for his entire trip!

Mr. Warren took his first flight ever to California. At the graduation ceremony, he was called up to the stage to be recognized for his determination and his empowering story.

Today, Mr. Warren lives in an affordable housing unit, attends daily support group meetings and advocates for others in similar situations by telling his story. Ryan Jr. is looking at colleges to attend in the DC area. The Warren family’s empowering story of mutual love and respect has lifted the hopes of many people, including myself.