Kevin Lynn has fought through hunger, homelessness and depression, his teenage years a blur of foster homes that he felt treated him like “a disposable paycheck.” His apartment burned down last year, consuming all of his possessions, including his prized guitar.
But when the young musician arrived this spring at the doorstep of Beyond Emancipation, barely able to climb the stairs, he had just been dealt his most devastating blow yet: At just 20 years old, he was diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer.
“I was in an excruciating amount of pain,” said Lynn, now 21, a musician who goes by the stage name Drake McCarthy. “I was very, very sick. People wanted to put me on hospice. That’s when I came here.”
The residential program for current and former foster youths has given Lynn a safe place to heal from aggressive chemotherapy treatments — and to seek solace and inspiration from a counselor on staff, Zimbabwe Davies, who like him, has firsthand experience with the foster-care system.