Carolyn Williams Center supports men who've aged out

Carolyn Williams Center supports men who've aged out of foster care

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Childhood wasn't easy for the very stylish George Nobles.

"I would say I lived in a good 20 foster homes and 3 or 4 group homes."

As a foster child George bounced from Tulsa to Ponca City, Lawton, and other towns in Oklahoma.

"Just not worried about life, more worried about my parents and what they were doing and why they put me here and everything else."

George aged out of the system at 18.  On his own for the first time, he admits he made some mistakes.

"When I first moved here I couldn't even keep a job longer than 2 or 3 weeks."

But things changed when George discovered The Carolyn Williams Center.

"We are a transitional living center for young men and at risk youth, between the ages of 18 and 23," said Phil Jackson, Client Services Advocate.

Jackson says young men who leave the foster care system, or DHS custody, aren't prepared for life on their own.  They don't know how to find a job, handle finances, prepare for college, or even cook.

The lucky few who find their way to the Center learn life-saving skills.  The Center provides dorm-style living, breakfast and dinner, and support groups for up to 17 young men.  It also helps them earn a GED and enroll in college.  In return, the young men must find a job, abide by a curfew, and do chores.

"To us a success is if these young men are able to sustain themselves independently , have their own apartment, and are very comfortable in their jobs," said Jackson.

The center has changed George's life and put a spring in his step.  He's now focused on college and a career.  He'd like to own a design firm.

"Because I like to express myself thru clothing," he said.  "I love fashion, especially the retro-70's clothing."

George says he won't let himself fall back into old habits.  He watched his roommate leave the Center before he was ready and hit rock bottom.

"And I saw him just recently at the bus station and I asked him how he was doing.  He said he wasn't doing good at all because he was living at a homeless shelter."

If you'd like to help The Carolyn Williams Center, please call 405-604-9442.

Check out pictures from our shoot here

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