Shawn O’Neal was born in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and raised in Sacramento, CA. He moved to Florida to live with his uncle in 2010 until his uncle kicked him out. He was homeless in Florida until his mom gave him a bus ticket back to California. He stopped in Los Angeles on his way back to Sacramento and stayed.
Shawn has always been interested in art culture and wanted to live in a city environment. He moved to several different places throughout LA and ended up living in Skid Row. He was addicted to hard drugs and became comfortable in the drug scene.
Shawn realized he needed a change. When he asked about resources, he heard about The Midnight Mission. He was intimidated by the outside of TMM in Skid, but his mind changed when he saw how clean and structured TMM was on the inside. It took Shawn three times at TMM to get used to being in an environment where people genuinely cared and wanted to help him. When he accepted the help given, he was on the road to recovery.
In addition to learning how to stay sober, Shawn acquired many life skills through the Healthy Living Program. He learned how to budget money and pay his bills on time. TMM gave Shawn the ability to change his life, and he advocates for others to come to TMM for a change in their lives.
After graduating from TMM, Shawn found his own apartment. He enjoys having a space of his own to relax after a long day’s work. He aspires to go to a barber college and then to a city college with an open mind for educational goals. Shawn is grateful TMM has opened the world for him to pursue many options with sober confidence.