Stories of Change: Trevor Dux

Trevor Dux loves basketball, running shoes, and ball caps – all pretty typical interests for your average 21 year old. But Trevor’s life growing up was anything but typical.

“I only lived with my mom and dad until I was nine years old,” he recalls. “Then they split up. A year after that I was moved into foster care.”

Trevor’s experience in the foster care system had a very profound effect on him. “You’re so used to living with your parents, and then you’re taken away from them,” he says. “Suddenly you’re in a new place with a person who doesn’t know you. They may not even want to get to know you.”

Trevor learned, at a very early age, that he was going to have to take care of himself. “I pretty much grew up on my own,” he says. “It was pretty rough.”

Despite his ordeal, Trevor was, and is, determined to living a fulfilling life on his own terms. He refuses to be written off as someone who won’t succeed. “When people tell me I’m not good enough or that I can’t do something, that motivates me,” he says. “It’s been like that since I was young. I had a foster parent tell me that she didn’t think I’d graduate. Right then and there I decided to work harder in school and prove her wrong.”

Now an adult, Trevor has transitioned out of foster care. He currently resides at Madison Lodge, a newly renovated facility run by Siloam Mission. He speaks highly of the people who live and work at Madison Lodge, saying they challenge him in a good way. “They’ve been pushing me to get back into school,” he tells us. “They took me to South Winnipeg Tech for a tour, and now it looks like I might be starting a program in September.” The staff at Madison Lodge has been helping him look for work. He hopes to find a job at a sporting goods store, where he can use his passion for sports and sporting wear to the customer’s advantage.

Trevor has also been taking part in a Siloam Mission program known as MOST. Short for Mission: Off the Streets Team, the MOST program is a partnership with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and is currently in its eighth successful year. Members of MOST work with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Metro Enviro-Team to beautify the streets of Winnipeg’s downtown, collect litter and shovel snow. Trevor was, at first, skeptical that he would enjoy taking part in the program. It only took a couple of days to realize that he was having fun while gaining valuable work experience at the same time.

“We work hard, but we also have a good time,” he says. “Sometimes we make a game of it. The program is making me into a perfectionist. I refuse to stop until every single piece of litter is picked up.”

Trevor also enjoys the sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done. The visibility of the team and the work that they are doing brings out the best in his fellow Winnipeggers. “People are often stopping us to thank us for keeping the downtown clean,” he says. “Sometimes they shout it out to us from their car as they’re passing by. It feels good."

The MOST Program is also one of the programs that receives support from the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s CEO Sleepout. Trevor is happy that so many of Winnipeg’s business leaders are taking part in the event in an attempt to bring an end to homelessness.

“They’re going to be able to see, first hand, that there are programs out there that really do make an impact. I’m proof!” He says. Trevor hopes that the CEOs taking part in the event will have an opportunity to speak to some of Winnipeg’s homeless community one-on-one. “The downtown is the only place where the homeless and Winnipeg’s business community really interact,” he says. “It’s a common ground where everybody is able to communicate. If the CEOs sit down and talk to some of the homeless, they’ll have a much better idea of what’s going on and what can be done about it.”

Trevor isn’t sure of what his future holds, but he would like to find work as either a photographer or a carpenter. After so many years of moving from home to home, he dreams of being able to build a home for himself.

“I want to show everyone out there who said I couldn’t do anything that they were wrong,” he tells us. “It’s all about moving forward.”