“I’m pretty much abandoned.” That’s what Curtis, a 21 year old Crisis Center resident said when I asked him about his family. His mother is an addict and Curtis said that his childhood was spent helplessly watching as she got abused by the many men she was involved with. She reacted to this by verbally abusing her four children. Curtis never knew his dad.
With no one who cared about him, Curtis acted out, and ended up going to Juvenile Detention when he was 13 until he was 18. When he got out he worked hard to graduate from high school while playing football and basketball, which helped keep him focused and positive. But his home life was unhealthy. It wasn’t safe and he needed to get out.
That’s when he came to Covenant House Michigan. “I came here to get help, and I’ve found a better way.”
Since he’s been here he’s attended in counseling sessions because he believes it to be beneficial. “They want what’s best for me. They help me with the do’s and the don’ts. I take their advice and end up better in the end.” He is especially grateful to Mr. Lamar, a Residential Advisor in the Crisis Center. “He makes sure I’m not in trouble,” he says with a bit of a smirk. “He keeps it real with me.”
Now Curtis is on the leadership council, part of Covenant House’s Total Me daily program. He mentors new kids coming into the program, looking out for them and helping them when they seem like they just need a friend. “I like communicating with people everywhere. We look out for each other.”
Another big thing that has changed since he got here is his attitude. “When I got here I never smiled. I was always angry. Now I smile a lot,” he says as he grins.
Curtis is now attending Wayne County Community College and studying Criminal Law. He wants to go to the Police Academy and work for a few years, but hopes to be studying law before he’s 30.