“Sometimes we have to improvise with the tools we are given to be the best architects of our lives.”
Jawon was born in Gary, Indiana in 1993, a time of economic hardship and turmoil in the Midwest. He faced many adversities at a young age. His parents were both imprisoned, and he entered the foster care system at the age of 8, which lead to him moving to Iowa and attending many different schools and living with many different families.
Education and advancement were very important to him early on, so he made it his mission to prosper despite these difficult circumstances. He graduated high school with honors in 2012 and went on to attend the University of Iowa. While dealing with the challenges of being a college student and needing to be financially independent he became overwhelmed and made some poor choices. After spending some time incarcerated, he found himself again trying to achieve the goals he had once set but again made some poor choices.
After a few years of living on couches, in cars, and on the street, he moved to California hoping for employment and a better quality of life. He began sleeping at a local shelter with 160 other people. When he got there, he was greeted by lot of people providing services and needed items.
The most important thing he was missing to get a job was a pair of office work shoes. Shoes for the Homeless, Inc. provided him with two nice pairs of leather dress shoes. The dress shoes fit perfectly, gave him the confidence to interview well, and helped him land a job. They provided him with a sense of dignity, confidence and pride. Jawon has since been promoted and is doing very well.
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