Ben’s Story

Ben came to Sisu in May of 2021 after being involved with the justice system. Originally from Mustang, Ben needed to stay in Oklahoma County to complete his court hearings, meaning he was unable to return home. He recalled feeling nervous and quite lukewarm about entering Sisu, but after a few days, Ben began making connections with Sisu staff and clients. Ben stayed at Sisu for 4 months before Sisu was able to connect him with housing through a community partner.

Looking back on his time at Sisu, Ben shared all the things he was able to accomplish, including enrolling for food stamps, finding stable housing, and even becoming an employee of Sisu through a partnership with the Central Oklahoma Workforce Innovation Board. Being a temporary employee of Sisu has been Ben’s favorite part of his experience with Sisu. He beamed as he talked about the ways in which this opportunity has opened his eyes to his future career goals.

He has always been good with kids, having worked at a daycare for three years, and after working at Sisu, Ben is sure that he wants to work with youth in the future.

He dreams of helping other young people in tough situations find a soft place to land as they overcome their barriers and create goals. More than helping him realize his dreams, Sisu has also helped Ben learn the skills he needs to make those dreams a reality.

Ben talked about how working at Sisu has taught him more about responsibility, teamwork, and advocating for himself and his needs.

“If I could describe Sisu in a couple of words, it would be second family”, Ben said, referring to both the staff and other clients he has met. “There have been many ‘Oh wow’ moments since coming to Sisu. I am always encouraged by how much the staff is willing to trust us and help us learn meaningful lessons. It helps us (the youth) trust them as well. I know that I can rely on the people at Sisu to be by my side through anything. The staff especially have empowered me to access all the things I need, and they have shown me what it means to have a support system.” He continued, “I love this place, I really do.”