When I first came to Rare Breed, I tagged along with a friend who was dating a Rare Breed youth. I did not need Rare Breed services, but I quickly found friends, and became a “Breed Kid” myself. My dad would drop me off at Rare Breed and pick me up on his way home from work. Being a rural kid, I did not have much to do during the day, so many of my friendships were from here. I went to every “Life Skills” class and involved myself in every group. Face painting at Neighborhood Night Out, and back-to-school events that Rare Breed took part in, I was there. During those years, the Rare Breed staff were always there for me, helping me learn how to ask for help, how to help others without hurting myself, and how to give back to other youth through peer support.
My Husband, Colton Hughes
Colton needed the “Breed” more than I did. During that time, he was housed through The Kitchen, Inc.’s Transitional Living program. There, Colton was given access to Anger Management and Harm Reduction classes, as well as Narcotics Anonymous. He says that he learned his street etiquette from his peers. He states, “It doesn’t matter if you know how to be safe if you overdose alone…it takes a tribe to stay safe.” Even now, some friends are doing well, but some are gone. They always told us the statistics of who would make it out. Colton has now been 6 years sober.
Colton and I work well as a couple! We sat through many relationship groups with other broken kids trying to figure out how to make life work. Both of us quote helpful information from Rare Breed to each other, creating accountability between us because we were both educated the same way when it came to healthy relationships. We have been together six years now, married for four years, with a little one-year old boy. We know how blessed we are to have overcome situations that could have held us back.
Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center
I love working at the Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center. Almost every kid is one bad experience away from needing a solid adult to help them figure it out, and sometimes, I get to be that adult. Almost every day, I use the skills that I learned at Rare Breed to be a productive parent, a good partner in my marriage, and a strong staff member. If I had not been around the “Breed” at the time, I would not have the same understanding of what these kids go through.
By: Abbie Dynes – Front Desk Youth Services
Look for our next blog on June 17, 2020