Covenant House and The Street’s Way

With the release of The Street’s Way coming next month, I thought I would share some insight into how the Covenant House inspired my writing in The Street’s Way.

Every homeless teen has their story

When we think of homeless teens, we probably imagine a teenager with an attitude that doesn’t want to follow the rules. In some cases, this may be true, but in other cases, teens are left with no choice. In a previous post on Mentoring A Dream, Inspiring Stories about Homeless Teens, I shared the stories of Nicholas and Samuel. Nicholas was kicked out of his home because he came out as being gay. Samuel had no place to go after he was told that the armed forces weren’t for him.

In The Street’s Way, Mikala Lalani feels that she is forced to leave her home due to abuse from her stepdad. When she leaves her suburban Boston home to run to Manor City for a safer place, she doesn’t think the whole thing through. Sure, they may not be able to find her there, but she didn’t have any place to stay when she arrived.

Where can these teens go?

The next step after being either kicked out of their homes or leaving them is to find a place to stay. Sometimes they may stay with a close friend on their couch temporarily. Or, they will find a place to sleep on the streets.

Homeless Teen on city street
Photo by Ev via Unsplash

Or, they may seek out a resource that can help them with shelter and to deal with the issue that put them onto the street in the first place. One of those places, is Covenant House.

What is Covenant House?

Since 1972, Covenant House has opened their doors to more than 1.5 million young people experiencing homelessness and survivors of human trafficking. Every young person at Covenant House receives a warm bed, food, health and wellness services, a case manager, and, most important of all, unconditional love and absolute respect. Through their outreach into the community, they are able to meet homeless teens where they are, on the street, and provide them with assistance.

Here are a few facts about them

  • They are open 24/7 to take in teens
  • More than 2200 teens wake up in a Covenant House bed every day
  • They provided over 790,000 nights of safe housing to youth in the past year
  • There are twenty-seven locations in the United States and eight additional locations in Canada and Latin America.

What services do they provide for Homeless Teens?

According to their website, Covenant House provides shelter and support to teens facing homelessness

Crisis Care

They provide emergency services like short term housing, mental health services and legal aid to teens and young adults ages 16-22.

Housing and Stability

Their doors are open 24/7 to provide shelter for teens. They are also able to respond to the needs of people who are young survivors of human trafficking, those who identify as LGBTQ+, and those who are pregnant or parenting solo.

Mental Health

Covenant House offers counseling and wellness programs to help teens deal with the trauma of being homeless. They also help them take control of their lives to build up their lives and their self confidence.

Education and Workforce Development

Obtaining education and preparing or the world are key skills to have when getting out of teen Homelessness. Covenant House provides programs that teens and young adults are excited to participate in, help them grow professionally, have a livable wage, and help them become independent.

How did this organization inspire The Street’s Way?

As The Street’s Way developed into a story about teen homelessness, I wanted to have a place in the book that would help teens who were struggling with this issue. I researched what Covenant House does for its teens and I created Monarch House. Monarch House is a place for homeless teens (young women) to help them figure out the causes of their issues and to make a plan to get themselves to a better place. It is set up to be transitional, so they can only plan to stay three to six months.

When I read about Covenant House, I liked what their organization is all about. I like their outreach programs and what they can do for teens. I also feature a Sleep Out Night in The Street’s Way. A Sleep Out is an event where people sleep outside for a night to experience what homelessness feels like. Covenant House promotes it to bring awareness to homeless teens and the struggles that they face.

To keep teens from becoming homeless in the first place? Create that safe place for your teens to come and talk to you about what is bothering them. Be open minded about what they are going through and what they see as the solutions. Sometimes that two way conversation can help both sides come to a solution for the issue. Need of any resources for the issues your teen is facing? Be sure to check out the Resources page on Mentoring A Dream’s website.

The Street’s Way is coming on May 9th!

The Street's Way Cover - on bench
Photo by Sharon McAleer

Do you know about The Way Series? It is a series of coming-of-age novels for teens and young adults about the challenges they face. Coming this spring, The Street’s Way, the third book in The Way Series. It is a continuation of the storyline from books one and two. And, introduces a new character who is running away from home and a bad situation.

Follow this link to my books tab to learn more about the series and to pick up your copies!

Selma’s Books.

Have a great week!

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