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Kaitlyn is 20 years old, but it was actually a tragedy at the age of 18 that started her journey to Covenant House. When she was 18 her mom was admitted to the hospital for leg surgery. While the surgery went well, Kaitlyn’s mom developed a post-surgery blood clot which traveled to her heart and burst! Kaitlyn was with her mom when it happened and can still recall how she felt when she called 911. She rode with her mom in the ambulance while her father followed in the car. In spite of her quick call, the clot was fatal. Kaitlyn’s mother was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.

This incident wasn’t the end of her tragedy though, within six months of her mom’s death Kaitlyn’s father remarried and didn’t want her at the house anymore. She went to live with her brother, but after a short time he kicked her out too. Our Outreach Team had to go and pick Kaitlyn up there, where she was waiting with 2 small bags of clothes.

Kaitlyn was glad to find friendly staff when she arrived here and was excited when the other youth reached out to her. “Within a week I had already made some friends.” She was also excited at the prospect of going back to school but had to wait until staff helped her to obtain a copy of her birth certificate and state id.

Because of bullying issues, which Kaitlyn suffered from 5th-11th grade, she dropped out of traditional school. She began a learn-at-home program at that time, but had never finished, so having a second change to finish high school at our Academy means a lot to her. Eventually Kaitlyn would like to attend Wayne County Community College and plans to study nursing or criminal justice. “I enjoy helping people and have a good heart so I think either choice would be a good fit.”

Her message to any youth who is looking for a safe place to go, “Covenant House is a great place to be, it is safe, with a warm bed, 3 meals a day, and no bullying!” According to Kaitlyn, the best part about her experience at Covenant House so far, “I’m graduating in December!”