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It was December, just a few weeks before Christmas and raining outside when Arianna* left her family home. “I put on extra layers of clothes and packed a bag with some of my stuff. I didn’t know where I was going so I just wandered the streets for a few hours and then lay down under a giant pine tree a few blocks from my neighborhood.” She hadn’t planned this but when an argument with her mother ended with an order to leave their home, Arianna didn’t have a choice.

Her next step was to call everyone she knew, hoping for a place to sleep. After dropping her phone, the screen broke and she wasn’t able to make any more calls. “Luckily, one of my uncles noticed a post I put up and realized it was a cry for help,” Arianna shared. “He drove around in the middle of the night and found me under that tree.” She stayed with him while trying to reconcile with her mom, but the results were not in Arianna’s favor.

Arianna kept searching for a long-term plan and found Covenant House Michigan. She quickly joined the job training program. “My long-term plans include going for phlebotomy training so I can support myself when I go back to school,” she stated. “Eventually I’d like to be a nurse as I really like helping people.”

*Name and photo changed to protect identity.