Preventing youth homelessness
Kids don’t choose to be homeless.
They take to the streets because adults have failed them or because circumstances beyond their control have left them no other choice.
George was raised in the Bronx by his father and grandmother. He never knew his mother. His father was abusive, hitting him sometimes with his hands, sometimes with his belt. Unable to cope, George started acting out, getting in trouble, finally dropping out of school. When his grandmother passed away, George was kicked out of the house by his father.
He had no place to go, and no one to help him. While he did have a job, he did not have a place to live. He slept anywhere that he could find - on the subway, in parks, and even on sidewalks. Because he had nowhere to shower, he used wipes to wash, so no one at work would notice the dirt. He did not want anyone to know that he was homeless. He felt very alone, and was distraught about where his life had led him.
After a month on the streets, a friend referred him to Covenant House. When he arrived, he was given food, clothing and safe shelter in a caring environment. He felt supported and secure.
Your Red Nose Day donations fund work with Covenant House to move young people from that poverty and homelessness to hope.
While each young person served at Covenant House is unique, their stories are not unlike George’s.
At Covenant House, George participated in the Job Readiness employment workshop, learning essential skills to find and retain employment. He landed his first job while working on his high school equivalency diploma. He moved into Covenant House’s longer term transitional living program, Rights of Passage. George is on his way, hoping to attend college and become a firefighter.