Will You Join Us In Supporting Youth Like Gabby?

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Thanks to a generous dollar-for-dollar match from the My Friend’s Place Board of Directors and other community leaders, your gift will be doubled, up to $100,000, but only if received by December 31!  

Right now, your support for My Friend’s Place will have double the impact for our youth, like Gabby, a young person who turned to My Friend’s Place when faced with the frightening reality of being pregnant and homeless:

After I was kicked out of my house, my boyfriend and I were squatting. It was a horrible experience.

Every day you wake up and you don’t know if the place you slept last night will be available again. You are never safe. People sneak up on you at night and steal your stuff. I know a lot of girls who were out there on their own who were attacked. No person should ever have to wake up to that.

All I wanted to do was make it through the night so that, in the morning, we could go to My Friend’s Place.

When I came to My Friend’s Place, I was looking for shelter, safety, something to eat and a shower. There were a lot of youth, and although everyone was so different, there was this common bond that we were all there for the same reason. I didn’t feel so alone in that moment. I immediately felt okay at My Friend’s Place. I felt accepted.

I became pregnant in 2009, and it was a real eye opener. I had seen so many other girls get pregnant, give birth while living on the streets and then have their kids taken away. I knew that wasn’t going to be me. I couldn’t let that happen. When I found out I was pregnant, it made me really think about changing my life. I didn’t want to be a mother without a child.  My boyfriend and I turned to our case manager and the staff at My Friend’s Place to help us figure out a plan to get off the streets. It wasn’t just about the two of us anymore.

With the help of My Friend’s Place, we were able to get our first hotel voucher. I was about four months pregnant when we were able to get off the streets. Our son gave us a reason to turn our lives around, and My Friend’s Place gave us the resources. To say that our case manager, Erin Casey, was amazing wouldn’t even be a strong enough word. From advice to friendship, she was always there. The staff at My Friend’s Place spoke up for us and went above and beyond for us. We wouldn’t have been able to get into housing or get jobs without My Friend’s Place. We wouldn’t be a family.

Going from life on the streets into housing is tough, but I had to keep pushing myself to move forward. My Friend’s Place continued to be there for me and my family on our journey. We enrolled in the parenting program at My Friend’s Place, which was awesome. As a parent, you have so many things to learn, but I could come to the parenting classes and get those questions answered. I learned parenting techniques and ideas, and I felt supported. Just being with the other parents and exchanging advice and stories—it was comforting to know that other people were dealing with the same issues.

Today, our family of three has grown to four, and we are expecting our third child next year. We’ve talked about buying a house one day, and I want to finish trade school when my kids are a little older. We want to bring our family to volunteer at My Friend’s Place. We want to help. Supporting My Friend’s Place is so important because they do so much for the youth who go there for help. The food and clothes are important, but it’s really about the family that My Friend’s Place creates for the youth. The love that My Friend’s Place provides, it goes a long way.


My Friend’s Place Alumna

Your partnership makes this transformation possible.

Though My Friend’s Place strives to provide each young person seeking care with individualized support for his or her unique situation, Gabby’s story is not unlike the stories of many young people we see at My Friend’s Place. Often young people come to us for help with basic needs, such as food and medical care, and find that, at My Friend’s Place, they develop relationships and access resources that make it possible to thrive and grow into amazing and capable adults who will become the leaders of families, of communities, of the world that is our collective future.

Your partnership makes this transformation possible. Our young people struggling with homelessness find that their lives are changed at My Friend’s Place through the support and unconditional regard of a caring adult, the growing belief in their own abilities to succeed in the world, and the resources they can access to move beyond the daily struggle to survive on the streets toward stability and self-sufficiency.  As staff members, our lives are changed too.  I have been forever changed — improved, really —  by young people, like Gabby, who have allowed us to share in their hardships and in their triumphs.  One simply cannot bear witness to such transformation without also being transformed. 

Please partner with My Friend’s Place to support these young people on their transformative journey toward a brighter future!

With gratitude,

Erin Casey, LCSW

Director of Programs

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