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Ever since he can remember, Nathan’s family moved around a lot. When he was 13, they moved to Texas for his mom’s new job. In addition to his siblings, him mom’s boyfriend traveled with them, intending to join the household. This was quite an adjustment for Nathan. Since a young age, Nathan was accustomed to being independent and taking care of his younger siblings while his mom was at work. Having another adult figure in the household, who wanted to tell them how to behave, was a huge adjustment after so many years of watching his siblings and running the house.

When they got to Texas, they lived in a motel room for a few months while his mom started her job. The kids didn’t enroll in school until they found an apartment a few months later. Nathan had a lot of trouble settling in and kept getting into arguments with his mom’s boyfriend. Eventually, he was sent back to Michigan to live with relatives.

Nathan found his grandma’s house crowded and full of tension. Quite a few family members were living there and the stress was high. This resulted in Nathan shuffling back and forth between Michigan and Texas multiples times during his high school years. Eventually, his mom moved back to Michigan, dwelling in the home of a new boyfriend. She brought Nathan back to live with her. Unfortunately, Texas repeated itself and Nathan didn’t get along any better with the new boyfriend. Eventually, one night when his mom was out for work, her boyfriend kicked him out.

With no prior plan and no place to go, Nathan found a park at an apartment complex near their home and slept under the stars. When this happened, he looked up homeless shelters and found Covenant House Michigan.

Nathan is now enrolled at Covenant House Academy, completing the classes he missed during high school. He is glad to be nearing graduation, knowing that he can close a chapter in his life and channel his focus into a brighter future.

*Name and photo changed to protect privacy