Jade was 20 years old when she came to us. Now, several months later, she is 21 and well on her way to making a new life for herself.
Jade was put in foster care at age 11, but she never really understood why she was taken away from her mother. For the first two years her mom visited her and then the visits dropped off. Jade spent time in various foster homes and eventually reached the age where she could move into a single independent living unit. However, when she aged out of the system at age 18, she didn’t have a plan. The best idea she could come up with was to find her mom and see if she could live with her. The plan worked for a bit, until her mom became violent and Jade began to fear for her life.
To escape the violence, Jade and her younger brother got in touch with their grandma and tried to stay with her. This solution didn’t last long as the rules in her grandmother’s senior living center didn’t allow for guests living in the facility. Jade then found another relative who offered to let them stay for a bit but after a slight misunderstanding the relative over-reacted and pushed Jade down the stairs in anger.
At that point Jade realized that the only option left was finding a homeless shelter. She went online and came across the Covenant House website. One phone call later, the Outreach Team was on their way to pick her up. Jade was waiting at a laundry mat where she had gone to clean her clothes before she relocated yet again.
“I’m grateful for Covenant House giving me a place to stay, warmth and food.” Jade said. She is wise enough to know that she needs to put her life in order. “It is easier for me to focus on things like job hunting when I know I don’t have to worry about the basics.”
When you talk to Jade, you see a cheerful, confident young woman who shines with courage in spite of her difficulties. “I’m on my own and I know it.” Yet she sees hope in spite of this and likes to encourage new residents, “Don’t give up. You are around a bunch of strangers (people you just met at Covenant House) but they can help you more than you think.”
Jade sees her time here as an opportunity to move forward. The intern program at CHM is one of the programs she has taken advantage of to help her move forward. “Working in intern broadened my knowledge.” She was able to use that experience as a stepping stone to her new position working at East Coast Subs.
Jade also plans to take advantage of her remaining time with us to get ready for college. She had a few media classes in high school and wants to go to Henry Ford Community College to get a production degree. Right now she is focused on saving up money from her job so she can move into an apartment closer to school.