Enoch’s StoryOthers, Addictions , Community Development , Stories
Contributed by: UrbanPromise Toronto
Meet Enoch. Like many of our youth, he has spent the majority of his life in the Toronto Community Housing (TCH) neighbourhood of Shoreham, more commonly referred to as ‘Jane and Finch’.
At the age of 11 when his father left, Enoch began a real struggle with his identity. Like many youth, he searched within his peer group for for something to cling to; “My core desire was to be fathered, to be guided, to be lead. To be encouraged, to be affirmed. I wanted someone to call me their own.”
During this time of exploration Enoch faced the realities of his urban setting; the obvious scars of gangs, drugs, violence, academic underachievement and the crushing weight of generational poverty.
When he was 14, Enoch’s sister encouraged him to apply for a summer job with UrbanPromise Toronto as a StreetLeader.
He was reluctant at best, “Kids? That’s not for me. Give me a cashier job, give me something else, but not that.”
But one thing led to another and Enoch began working as a StreetLeader at camp, alongside children from his own community.
He describes, “I suddenly had role models in the UPT staff, people to look to for guidance, support and community. It was a safe space for me to grow up.”
Enoch admits it was scary at first to do something so outside of his comfort zone. But he believes God used this time to teach him to serve, to lead, and to become a positive role model for his community. God also continued to draw Enoch to Himself- he became a Christian that summer. And life has never been the same.
Enoch worked as a StreetLeader with UPT for the next 5 years. Through his community involvement and contact with a local church, Enoch co-founded Revolution, a basketball league for youth in his neighbourhood. At Revolution Enoch shares his passion for basketball, and for Jesus. He’s also working towards his college diploma in Law Administration.
It only takes a few moments of interacting with Enoch to recognize the joy and confidence he has- which he credits to his relationship with God. We’re so proud of Enoch and the man he has become. God is using him to do amazing and unmistakable things for His kingdom.