Featured Partner – Front Steps

Vontrez’s Success Story

Vontrez Grayson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and was raised by his grandmother. He attended elementary school and high school. In his senior year he met a troubled group of friends. Vontrez started getting into trouble and skipping classes, until he eventually failed and dropped out of school.

Seeking employment was difficult without a high school diploma, so Vontrez attended summer school to get his GED. While in school, Vontrez had difficulty focusing and didn’t feel like himself, so he dropped out again. His grandmother received news that his mother was living in Austin, so to prevent Vontrez from spinning out of control, she sent him to live with his mother. Vontrez lived with his mother for 2 1/2 years until she got upset about her dog being attacked while in his care, and kicked him out of the house. That moment was a big wake up call for Vontrez. For the first time in his life, he was homeless.

Vontrez walked the streets for weeks, and even tried going back to his mother’s with no luck. He felt hopeless and eventually sought advice from a local police officer. The officer recognized mental health symptoms in Vontrez, and encouraged him to seek support. Vontrez was sent to Austin Oaks Hospital where he stayed for 4 months. Once discharged, with the support of Integral Care, he kept his medication regimen and felt calmer and more focused. Vontrez bounced around from place to place until he found the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless and Trinity Center.

Once enrolled in Front Steps’ case management program, Vontrez was connected with even more services. Goodwill assisted him in obtaining employment at Camp Mabry, which allowed him to establish financial security and open up a savings account. Vontrez’s Front Steps’ BSS+ case manager assisted him in obtaining permanent housing. This stability made it possible for Vontrez to finally acquire his GED.

Vontrez states that he has never been happier and has high hopes to attend college and pursue a career in business. When asked about his success, Vontrez has only good things to say about his case managers (Alex and Obrianna) and the programs that supported him. He is truly grateful to Front Steps and BSS+ for helping him when he needed it most.