After being referred to Inspiration Corporation for housing assistance, MJ formed a connection with his case manager, Sarah. He shared how much of an impact having “someone to honestly just believe in [him]” had. He said, “I don’t want to let Sarah down. I don’t want to let myself down. Let me break out the new MJ.” Sarah and MJ worked together to find an apartment, and after a long time without stable housing, MJ had to get accustomed to being alone. He was able to adjust and now relishes the privacy: “That peace of mind. This is my space mind. Leave me alone and let me close the door on the outside. Let me dance an ugly dance and no one can see.”
With his own place, MJ was able to focus on his next project: continuing his education though a program at Illinois Media School-Broadcasting. He told us, “I’m the only one in my cohort with an internship.” While interning at WVON, MJ met Rhymefest and Kanye, who both follow him on Instagram now! Using the things he’s learned, MJ has created his own podcast.
MJ has a passion for achieving his goals, but also for reaching back and supporting others. After everything he has overcome, he said, “You can’t harbor all the hurt and pain. You have to let it go. If my story is heard, it could help others who are where I used to be.” He also shared that he recently received a letter he wrote himself in High School, “Even then I said I’m going to be rich by the time I’m 25. It’s not about the money. I’m going to go back and rebuild the houses in my neighborhood. The vacant lots… I want to create the Chicago [the community] really wants.”
We know MJ will achieve his goals and are glad to have been able to be there for him along the way!