Looking Up


I get frustrated sometimes when hiking because I have to pay so much attention to my feet. If I don’t keep my eyes down I will (and certainly have) tripped.

This reminds me of how young adults here at SYM explain their situations, that they can’t look up to see where they’re going because they are so focused on what is in front of them.

They’re so focused on not tripping, on meeting the basic necessities of each day, that they can get used to keeping their head down, and then they get stuck.

Case management is a chance for youth to sit down with SYM staff one on one and gain perspective. As a case manager I work with young adults to make to-do lists, we make phone calls that are exhausting and full of long wait times, I drive them to appointments, we research together how you get a Wisconsin ID replacement when you’re very far from Wisconsin. We cheerlead accomplishments, and listen to stories. We get to know young people and what makes them unique, and we help young people identify what direction they want to go.

If we only ever looked down at our feet, we’d never get to enjoy or marvel at the little things in life that add up to be the big things. We’d never get to pick what way we are walking. Case management allows space for these things to happen in the lives of homeless young adults.

Written by Emma Fix, Case Manager

Poems From A Friend

For over a year now, we have been visiting with a longtime SYM friend who has been in jail. This season of her life has often felt like a waiting game – and the unknown has taken her on a roller coaster of highs and lows. SYM has seen remarkable perseverance in this individual. She has decided to make the most of her time, and continually has surprised us with her endurance. During our visits, she has slowly been sharing her poetry with us. She has found a sense of purpose in sharing her poems with other inmates, guards and visitors; sometimes even writing poems to bring encouragement into specific circumstances. We hope that her writing inspires you to consider something new today.