Shawn E. overcame many obstacles before he came to Blueprints. After recovering from addiction, he experienced a period of homelessness. He had lost his job and had spent some time in the City Mission. He had found a new job, but lived out of his car some days. Seeking rental assistance, Shawn was able to sign a lease for an apartment in Washington. Blueprints agreed to pay for his first month’s rent, security deposit, and incrementally decreasing partial rent for one if Shawn would participate in Blueprints’ programming for long-term rental assistance and budget coaching for one year.


Shawn was excited for this new endeavor. The first time that he attended budget coaching, he stated, “You guys have an adopted son now.” Saving money for an emergency fund with the additional goal of purchasing a home in the future was a relatively new concept for him. Shawn consistently attended all of his required appointments, while holding down a full time job and a part time job. An enthusiastic student, he took every piece of advice and knowledge that he could gain to learn how to thrive financially.


Shawn’s experiences also gave him a unique perceptive. During budget coaching, he not only focused on his money, but on how his bipolar disorder and addiction affect his decision-making skills. Shawn reserved a significant portion of his budget for helping others. He discussed how important it was for him to be able to have the extra money for gas to drive recovering addicts to appointments or to get help with food. He regularly sends out motivational text messages to support others in his community.


When Shawn came on hard times due to medical concerns and the loss of his second job, his friends supported him. He also utilized his available resources to keep his budget and continue to make ends meet. Shawn is conscientious and has come a long way on his journey to self-sufficiency.


Recently, Shawn stopped into the Blueprints’ office to drop off some breakfast pastries and a thank you card, which read, “Thank you for having great team members on board. With a grateful heart- thank y’all very much!” We are very proud of Shawn and grateful that our imprint on his life made all the difference.