Pregnant and Abused Teen Finds Sanctuary and a Future at Covenant House

coveyhouse Our Youth

“If it hadn’t been for Passage House and the amazing staff, I’m not sure I would be standing here today.”

“I was 18 when I found out about Passage House, the Covenant House program for pregnant and parenting teens who are homeless. I was about 8 months pregnant with my son, whose father abused me. At the time, I was living with relatives. The city bus was my only transportation.

Part of my story includes the fact that I spent my teenage years doing drugs and drinking, just about every day. But when I found out I was pregnant, I quit. I applied to Passage House and was accepted. There, I learned about caring for a newborn. Kathy, Gena and Anne were very helpful while teaching me how to parent my son. I learned a lot in our weekly groups and in our daily conversations. They all were very kind, encouraging and understanding.

I had been in an abusive relationship with the baby’s father, but after four years, I finally made the decision to leave him. With the help of Covenant House, I focused all my attention on my son and myself. I got a job as a teacher at an Early Head Start program, which then enabled me to earn my Child Development Associate credential. I’m happy to report I plan to start college for nursing soon!

The Passage House staff has been there for me through all of my ups and downs. I have turned to them to share my joys and struggles and they have always supported me. I am very grateful for them. I am here to tell you that there was a time when I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to parent my son, and if it hadn’t been for Passage House and the amazing staff I’m not sure I would be standing here today—the mother of an amazing little boy whom I love so very, very much.

I am so impressed by the community’s love and support for Covenant House. Thank you for continuing to support our at-risk youth, and the young mothers and their children. You have no idea how much it means to all of us.

 – Laura Cantrell, Covenant House Alaska and Passage House graduate

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