LifeSet gives Tresja confidence to move forward
LifeSet helps young people identify and achieve their goals, but it also does more. For Tresja, it was the intangible benefits the program provided that meant so much to her.
“They helped build my confidence,” Tresja said. “They were there when I needed somebody. I was in a bad relationship, and they gave me the confidence I could get out of it. They offered encouraging comments, positive feedback, positive vibes all the way around. Even in a tough situation, they helped me see the light.”
In the fall of 2020, Tresja was homeless and trying to get out of an abusive relationship. The relationship continued a pattern of abuse she faced throughout her life.
At just that time, the Arlington Drive Project had started in Tacoma, Washington. The project, a 58-unit apartment building, provides not only living space but also services for the 18- to 24-year-olds who reside there. The Y Social Impact Center, selected as the service provider, placed two teams in the building—one for typical case management, the other was LifeSet for a higher level of support.
LifeSet Program Director Krizia Chimal said the Arlington Drive staff began placing fliers and sending out feelers around the area immediately.
“Arlington opened in October 2020, and Tresja was one of the first who came to us,” said Chimal, who began as a LifeSet specialist. “Tresja has been in the program since this team was started. She was able to get out of an abusive relationship which was great.”
It took some time for Tresja to fully trust the program. “It took me a while to get settled in LifeSet,” Tresja said. “I’m not the type of person to open up as easily and quickly as others are. It took a little time, but I’m glad I did.”
When she entered Arlington Drive, Tresja was expecting a child. Chimal and LifeSet helped Tresja with parenting plans, finding a new job and beginning a college search. Tresja’s employment goal is to become an ultrasound technician. In addition, LifeSet also assisted Tresja in getting no-contact orders for the child’s father.
After a little over a year at Arlington Drive, Tresja was ready to go out on her own, and in January 2022, she took a big leap with a move to Texas to start college. LifeSet helped Tresja with her move, including a job transfer.
However, it didn’t work out. Three months later, Tresja reached out to Chimal to see if she could return. Arlington Drive welcomed her back.
“It (the move to Texas) wasn’t the right timing,” Tresja said.
At first, I was kind of embarrassed to go back in the program. I had tried one route, and it failed. Once I got over that, I got back in, and it’s been great since. They’re supportive, they really are.
Chimal notes Tresja has re-enrolled in LifeSet for three months just to get on her feet again. “We’re on track with the stabilizing goals she came in with—to house herself, have employment, live her life with her children,” she said. “She’s doing great.”
Tresja plans to start school soon at Tacoma Community College, while also welcoming another child in November. “They are there for me mentally,” Tresja said, referring to her LifeSet specialist. “They are encouraging me that I am able to do it.”
In addition to her busy life, Tresja is proving to be a good recruiter for Arlington Drive and LifeSet. She is recommending the program to others she sees in the community.
“LifeSet offers somebody to talk to,” Tresja said. “A lot of people don’t have anyone. LifeSet is there when you need to unload anything—work problems, child issues, anything. They also help you to get ahead in life. They won’t stop until they find you the help you need.”