Ivan tells us that being a homeless teenager was the hardest thing he ever had to do. At 17, this only child of a single mother was already the man of the house, but needing help from Freedom House was not something he was prepared for. They moved around a lot – sometimes to find work for his Mom, sometimes to get away from abuse. Then they thought they’d finally found the answer and moved to Green Bay. But the house and the job that were lined up through a relative fell through and they were forced to seek assistance from Freedom House. Ivan, a junior at Green Bay East High School at the time, hid the fact that he was living at a homeless shelter from everyone he could. He was antagonistic at first, not wanting to follow the rules – the last thing he wanted was someone telling him when to eat, when to go to bed and enforcing a curfew – not to mention having to share a room with his Mom. But little by little he came around, developed relationships with staff and volunteers and dreamt big about his future. He graduated high school, took media & visual arts classes at NWTC and went on to study art. He says that even though he didn’t get the “ordinary” teenage life, he knows he has an extraordinary future to look forward to.