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April 8, 2019
**This blog contains potentially triggering themes**
Every day at Covenant House, we are guided by our 5 main principles to give the youth that walk through our doors unconditional love and absolute respect. The 2nd of those principle is ensuring that each youth feels safe and secure. Many youth who come to Covenant House have had a life filled with chaos and trauma, but CHGA gives them a secure home to begin to heal.
This week, April 8 - April 12, we focus on National Youth Violence Prevention Week. Covenant House is proud to help youth cope with varying traumas they may have faced in their past. Youth violence has long lasting effects on victims that continue on once physical injuries have healed. The lack of safety a youth experiences impacts psychological and social growth. The following is a story of one of our youth, an Atlanta native, who faced abuse through his childhood and found sanctuary at Covenant House. For privacy purposes, we have changed all identifying information in his story.
“I was born into a very hectic and treacherous life. Drugs and violence were all I knew. Growing up, violence was common place in my neighborhood and in my household. I saw drug deals go bad and the consequences that followed. As a child, I watched people brutally beat and stomp others unconscious. I remember many times at night, we all had to fly to the floor to avoid bullets flying into our home. This was my childhood; this was my normal. My father was abusive and eventually I learned to fight back. Some of my mother’s boyfriends were physically abusive too. I tried to function but all I knew was chaos and turmoil. I spent my life being bounced between family members and foster care, until eventually I had no other home to go to. I spent my life bouncing between family members and foster care, until I found myself as an adult without a home. At 18, I ended up on the streets. When I first found Covenant House, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for the structure or the rules, so I fell back to a life of chaos. Eventually, I was ready for Covenant House. I knew I had to prepare for the structure and change my ways. This time, it was important for me to get through the shelter and make it to the Rights of Passage program. It was an uphill battle, but I have come a long way from where I started. I made it to Rights of Passage and was able to obtain an internship and then a permanent job. Without the help of Covenant House, I don’t know where I would be…and I don’t like to think about it. I’m glad I found this program and am very grateful.”
One of our core beliefs at Covenant House is in giving our youth a safe place to live; but it isn’t just a place to live, it is a place for growth and healing. The biggest impact we can have on our youth who have witnessed and been victims of violence is becoming their safe haven. Once our youth know that they are safe, there is no limit to the amount of growth they can achieve.
If you are between the ages of 18-24 who is in need of housing or help, please contact our shelter line at 404-713-0954.
If you'd like to continue to support Covenant House Georgia's mission to provide sanctuary to youth experiencing homelessness, please click here to make a donation!
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Covenant House Georgia
1559 Johnson Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Main Phone: 404-589-0163
Covenant House Georgia
PO Box 94465
Atlanta, GA 30377
Youth Direct Line: 404-713-0954
501(c)(3) organization - Tax ID#: 13-3523561 - All donations are tax-deductible