Former supportive housing participant Sebastian: Looking back, Lincoln Place really did save my life
Sebastian Dina participated in supportive housing services at Lincoln Place several years ago. As Sebastian worked toward stability, his partner, Tash, was working on her own stable housing and life goals. Tash and Sebastian supported each other as they pursued life together and learned new skills.
“I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for her, and she wouldn’t be where she’s at if it wasn’t for me,” Sebastian says. “It’s just kind of the way that our relationship has been since we first met.
For Ordinary Magic this year, Sebastian and Tash reflected on their experience at Lincoln Place and how they grew together. After a video played with their story, Sebastian and Tash took the stage to share about life after supportive housing services.
You can find the video and speech below.
Sebastian's speech to guests at Ordinary Magic 2020
It’s been three years since I got connected to Lincoln Place, and a lot has happened since.
We’ve also all been living through a pandemic these past few years.
After Lincoln Place, I was determined to get a better-paying job. I really enjoy working on cars, so I completed a college course for automotive technology and got a job at a mechanic shop. I enjoyed the job because I gained knowledge about cars and everyone I worked with was down-to-earth and respectful of one another.
When the pandemic happened, I was laid off and then rehired by the owner at a different shop with a new group of coworkers. Some of these coworkers were very negative-minded people and rude to each other.
Thankfully I already had Tash by my side. She has stuck with me through all of this. She’s and been an amazing resource and source of comfort to me. Together we’re the best team. We encourage each other to do better.
I’ve always been a motivated person so I continued looking for the next best thing for myself. I did find another job, but the business practices of the shop did not align with my values as a person. At the time we were still in the middle of the pandemic and there weren’t a lot of employment choices for me to make.
It was really challenging, but I stayed working there for about a year. I’ve always had a strong work ethic and I was determined to maintain my independence and find something better.
Around that time, I was offered a job as a caretaker working for the property management company that owns Lincoln Place – the very same place where I was previously a client. This position has been a transformative experience for me because I get a feeling of satisfaction from giving back to my community some of what it gave to me. Taking care of the property is extremely important to me because it helps keep the place clean, safe and secure. And all the people I work with on a daily basis actually care about each other. I hope my contributions will help change the lives of the youth who are currently living there.
While I don’t currently work as an auto mechanic right now, those jobs led me to my passion for fixing and maintaining my own cars. Through hard work, consistency and savings I was able to buy a vehicle that I take a lot of pride in it. It’s a black four-door Lexus GS350, with a lot of luxury features. It gives me something I can take pride in.
The last few years I have continued working and setting my own goals, and I feel really proud of everything I have accomplished.
When I initially arrived at Lincoln Place I was afraid of being on my own, and now, today I take pride in how far I have come and the determination that I’ve shown. My next goal that I have for myself is saving for a down payment so I can buy a house within the next few years.
Looking back, Lincoln Place really did save my life. I learned about my own values, self-care, and how to be an independent and responsible adult. I found my own will-power and determination and with that, the structure I needed to get my life straight. I continue to carry those same values even to this day, and I really see how much I have grown since.
When I initially arrived at Lincoln Place I was afraid of being on my own, and now, today I take pride in how far I have come and the determination that I’ve shown.