Tobias' Story

Tobias looks forward to a bright future in theater

He can do the splits, hit Mariah Carey’s high notes (on a good day), and spout musical knowledge like he wrote the songs himself. Tobias adds flair to Covenant House Missouri on a daily basis, talking easily with staff and residents, playing the piano, and belting out a tune as he walks through the hall.

The 19-year-old – who hopes to have a career in musical theater someday – is currently part of our Transitional Living Program (TLP), living in an apartment-style suite with a roommate. Covenant House Missouri was here for Tobias when his parents cut ties last year after he came out as gay.

“Covenant House has helped me get back on my feet and have a sense of stability,” Tobias says. “Being in TLP, I can stay long-term so I can save money and get my life together for the future.” Youth on the TLP floor are able to stay for up to two years, or until their 22nd birthday.

“The staff help you meet your goals, from something small like cooking dinner to larger things like getting a job and going to school.”

Tobias holds a steady job, sometimes working 60 hours a week or more, and he’s saving for a car. Once he has a vehicle, he will focus on school. He has already completed one year of college here in St. Louis, where he was studying fine arts and musical theater, and he can’t wait to go back.

While Tobias is here – and even after he leaves – he is able to take advantage of the many support services offered at Covenant House Missouri, including counseling, the employment center, and outings. And despite his busy work schedule, Tobias is always willing to help the staff with small tasks whenever needed.

“I’ve enjoyed the opportunities to help and serve, both at Covenant House and out in the community,” he says. For four weeks, Tobias went out with the employment programs’ Garden Rangers to help beautify nearby neighborhoods.

The youth at Covenant House keep busy, and they are supported every step of the way by case managers, clinical staff, therapists, and many others.

“This is definitely a place for personal growth,” Tobias says. “It’s a place where you can have help to figure out who you are as a person.”

Katie Stalter