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Youth homelessness doesn't have a face. It can affect youth of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, socio-economic background, education level, family value, etc. Read below to hear a few of the stories from the youth at Covenant House.
Meet India. When India was in high school, 18 her mother passed away in front of her and her younger brother from a massive heart attack. India and her brother were sent to live with an aunt in another city. In addition to the emotional turmoil of her mother's death and being uprooted from her home, India and her aunt struggled to get along. Eventually, she moved out and "couch surfed" among the houses of friends. As a result of multiple moves and unresolved trauma, India did not graduate high school and soon found herself homeless. She found her way to Covenant House Georgia and she now has her high school diploma, a job, and an apartment through our "Rights of Passage" program. India plans to go to Georgia Perimeter College next quarter and she has a newfound hope for her future.
Meet Jennifer. Beginning at the age of 5, Jennifer was raped or molested multiple times by several different people—seven of those violators were her own family members. She was physically abused by her brothers and her mother's boyfriends. At age 17 she announced to her family that she was a lesbian and they kicked her out of the home. Jennifer became a victim of Atlanta's sex trafficking trade for two years before finding the courage to look for help. She was referred to Covenant House Georgia and has learned to love herself and forgive others. She is looking forward to earning her GED and enrolling in college so she can build a brighter future.
Meet Nacole. As a toddler, Nacole was taken from an abusive, neglectful household and raised by a foster family who provided all the necessary basics but forgot to provide love and affection. She was told that she was never going to make it and that she was destined to fail. Nacole feared their prophecy was right when she called Covenant House, homeless and hungry. Half an hour later she was in our care and three months later she is on her way to graduate high school in May, has passed the ASVAB and will join the military in June. Nacole has big dreams and to all her doubters she says, "I will make it."