Sara was 19 when she came to Catholic Charities’ Hope Street for Homeless Youth. She had been without a home for years. As a child, she was abused and neglected by those around her. Ultimately, this led to significant mental health problems and she bounced between dozens of treatment programs, group homes and foster homes.
Soon, Sara found herself homeless. While on the streets, she experienced further abuse, becoming a victim of sex trafficking. Her life had become a nightmare.
Then, Sara found Hope Street.
At Hope Street, Sara was provided a safe place and time to heal. She no longer had to be afraid. With help from Catholic Charities, she received counseling and re-enrolled in school.
The nightmare that was her world is gone and Sara continues to rebuild her life. Today, she is happy and has moved into her own apartment. She is proud of what she has accomplished and is grateful for Hope Street.
Andre came to Catholic Charities with one goal in mind: to learn how to best care for his young infant daughter. After the mother of the infant lost her parental rights, the county was desperately looking for a caregiver for the child. Andre, being a young father, had no experience caring for a child and had only limited contact with her since she was born. He knew this was his chance to step up and take responsibility for his child.
Once a week, a determined Andre rode the bus 90 miles to St. Paul to visit his daughter. During his visitation times, Andre met with staff from our Parenting Services program, which helps teach fathers how to be the best caregiver, nurturer and leader for their children. They coached him on the basics of appropriate infant care and how to work through the anxiety of becoming the best father he could be for his child.
Over the next several months, Andre spent time nurturing his relationship with his daughter through reading books and spending quality time getting to know his child better. He completed homework tasks assigned by Catholic Charities staff while meeting weekly to discuss his progress. Andre started to gain confidence in his ability to care for his daughter, which influenced him to stabilize his home environment in hopes that his child would be able to be in a positive, comfortable place.
Soon, because of his dedication to becoming a great parent, the county awarded custody to Andre. He keeps in regular contact with staff and is a successful, loving father to his daughter.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.