This is a picture of restoration. Pictured above are Joy House Residential Program graduate, Tyler, and his mother. At one point, Tyler thought there was no hope for his family relationships. At the 2019 Joy House Annual Banquet, we were blessed to hear Tyler share a little about his story and how God used The Joy House to change his life. We hope you will take a moment to watch this video from our banquet as Tyler answers some questions about his journey at The Joy House with his former houseparent, Richard Metcalf.

(Video Transcript Below)

Richard: …and Tyler was one of the three boys that I had at The Joy House that said, “no, I’m never going to play basketball with you right now.” And that’s a big bummer for me because I love sports. And so then I had to find other ways to try to interact with Tyler and get to know him. And one way was through a card game that we played, and all the guys started playing this game, and I was beating all the guys in the house. And Tyler was beating all the guys in the house. And finally we played each other. And we don’t really have to finish that part of the story do we? ….

Tyler: Why don’t you tell them who won?

Richard: Tyler did beat me in that game. And what makes me bitter about it is that he never gave me the chance to beat him…. He wanted to be the only boy in he house to say “I beat Mr. Richard, and none of y’all did.”

But Tyler we want to hear from you tonight and so what circumstances brought you to a place of needing The Joy House?

Tyler: Well when I was pretty young, both of my parents developed an addiction to drugs. That led to a lot of fighting and arguments which eventually just led to them splitting up. After that my mom got a new boyfriend who was an abusive alcoholic and they had a kid together. The abuse of both drugs and physical got so bad that DFCS got involved and took me and my two sisters away. My dad regained custody and already my behavior was pretty bad because I was traumatized by everything that happened. I didn’t really like school so one day I told my dad that I hated him because I didn’t want to go. He made me anyway. And I felt really bad for saying that to him because I didn’t hate him, he was one of my only friends. But sadly I didn’t get the opportunity to tell him I was sorry because he had overdosed and passed away in his sleep later that day. After that I basically gave up on life. I developed severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and what little faith I had in the school system was no longer there. If I went to school I would leave early by faking a sickness or sleep during a class or just wouldn’t go at all. One day my neighbor caught on to everything that was going on and referred my grandmother to The Joy House which led me to where I am today, so thank you.

Richard: So what did your time at The Joy House teach you about choices and how does that affect your decision making now?

Tyler: The Joy House taught me the importance of thinking before I act. Thinking about cause and effect like If I were to do this, how would that affect me, my family, or my relationship with God. Obviously I’ll slip up every now and then but I’ve learned to accept my mistakes and learn from them and grow myself as a person because of them and that process helped me to make more mature decisions.

Richard: Tyler, how has your time in The Joy House Academy influenced your education and future plans?

Tyler: The impact it had on my education in my opinion was one of the more shocking changes I had. Not only did it give me the strive to learn and pursue an education, it gave me an opportunity to get ahead. I went into The Joy House in 9th grade failing every class and I left a 12th grader at 15-years-old. So now I plan on finishing up with high school and going into college so I can major in Psychology to become a therapist.

Richard: We saw Ms. Robin on the previous video and I know she had a great affect in your life while you were in The Joy House. What did she do different that made you want to motivate you to do more?

Tyler: She was my biggest inspiration, especially for my education. Not only was she so devoted to her job and the kids there, she pursued a relationship that was above teacher and student, she wanted to be like your friend which I think most teachers should do that.

Richard: Tyler, do you feel like God used the Joy House to change the course of your life?

Tyler: Absolutely. I had no strive to change myself for the better because I didn’t think I deserved to be happy so it’s really a miracle that I had got people like you guys to show me that I do have a purpose and that if I’d work really hard for it this could be the beginning of all greater things.

Richard: What would you say to a teenager who sees no hope in their current family relationships?

Tyler: I’d say first that I understand because I’ve been there in the past. But now, I don’t really believe true hopelessness. I think God gave us free will for a reason and one of those reasons is that we have the ability to change. And it can take a lot of work mutually but if you really aspire to obtain relative peace in the household positive change is the best if not the only option.