Our Impact: Meet Alan

“I couldn’t have done it without the people at SOS – they saved my life.”

Alan is a former foster child. After ‘aging out’ of government care at 19 years old, Alan was headed down a lonely, self-destructive path. It looked like he was destined for a life of poverty, substance abuse, and violence – or worse. Until SOS Children’s Village BC came into his life.

Alan entered government care at the age of 12. Over the next six years, Alan figured he’d been in more than 50 foster homes. With so much upheaval in his life, he didn’t finish high school. Just a few weeks after his 19th birthday, Alan was already living on the streets, heavily involved in drugs and turning to crime to support his habit.

If you had asked him about the future, Alan would have told you he expected to be dead before he was 25, from drugs or violence. It seemed as though, in his despair, Alan was doing everything he could to make that prediction come true. Then he met a youth worker from SOS BC. That brief conversation reminded Alan that he’d once had dreams of going to university, of getting a good job, owning a car, and having a regular life.

It made him realize he didn’t actually have to die at 25. But Alan didn’t know how to make any of his dreams a reality. His chaotic childhood and his teen years bumping from one foster placement to another had left him with no skills: he didn’t know how to open a bank account, register for school, apply for a job, or find a safe place to live.

Fortunately for Alan, those are exactly the kinds of life skills that the Transition to Adulthood program at SOS BC teaches to vulnerable, at-risk young people. Our team helped Alan to enroll in school, assisted him in his search for a safe place to live, and taught him those basic life skills we tend to take for granted, but which so many foster kids miss out on: how to apply for a job, write a cheque, pay bills, work out a budget.

Thanks to the generous donations of caring individuals like you, today Alan is enrolled in a post-secondary program. He’s got a part-time job, a safe place to live, and a bright future ahead of him. It’s a far cry from living on the streets, expecting to die of an overdose before the age of 25.

As Alan says, “I couldn’t have done it without the people at SOS – they saved my life.”

And SOS Children’s Village BC can’t do it without you: the support of our donors is what makes all our innovative, proven effective programs possible.