Jonahlisa is a homeless youth in New York City. She says there are times you just want to break down and give up. Jonahlisa says she has been homeless most of her life. At 2, […]


Jonahlisa is a homeless youth in New York City. She says there are times you just want to break down and give up.

Jonahlisa says she has been homeless most of her life. At 2, her mother placed her in foster care and she then bounced from placement to placement. Jonahlisa experienced her first night of street homelessness at 9 years-old. To me, just the thought of any child that young on the streets messes me up.

The good news is Jonahlisa is a Covenant House, one of my favorite youth programs. Jonahlisa now has a job, and thanks to a program run by Jonahlisa- she will soon have her own apartment and will be going to school.

Jonahlisa is a homeless youth in New York City. She has been homeless most of her life. Click To Tweet
Special thanks to Hanes and Covenant House.

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  • tom

    owwww not that not good when she was 2 sorry

  • tom


  • Pam

    wish i could help them, they are too far away but i am involved in helping them here at home near LA…

  • Lizzy C

    Im in Brooklyn,Ny I see homeless people a lot its sad and being homeless is not how people should be living

  • Imogen Wiseman

    I am going around England today giving out lots of meals to the homeless

  • a2phil

    I wish there were MORE people like you EVERYWHERE!!!! :))

  • CH RM

    I find Jonahlisa’s story very inspiring. She’s 19 years old living in a homeless youth facility in New York. She’s trying to get her life together. I mean, she’s been going from foster home to foster home from 2 years old to 16 years old. Jonahlisa was put in boot camp because she was running away so much. And now, she has a job, an actual home, and she has goals for her life. I know she said that she wants to meet her mom and sister, she wants her grandmother to come back, and Jonahlisa wants to succeed in life. I’m confident she will. I wish you, Jonahlisa, the best. You inspire me to overcome many, if not all, obstacles in my life. Good luck!

  • TWYM

    Dear Jonahlisa,
    Hearing your story was heartbreaking and overwhelming. To be 2 and have your mother give you up must be one of the hardest things a child could go threw. But I can tell your a strong, independent women who will make the best out of life. Having a job and saving up to buy an apartment is an amazing goal to try and reach. Being in high school and 17,not to much younger then you, I want to make sure I am grateful for everything I have. Knowing someone could be homeless at such a young age is scary and makes me really think about the world in a different way. Thank you for inspiring me to help homeless in my community.

  • SC

    Dear jonahlisa,
    Your story real touched my heart, it is sad how you started being homless at the age of 2. Your first night sleeping outside is at the age of 9, kids really dont understand how good we all have it. I don`t know how you are so strong i would of really broke down and lose my inner self if i went through what you went through. I hope you get to met your mom and your little sister , show your mom that you are strong and you are doing good. The one wish that we could compare to each other is our grandmother to come back but we cant have that. Its okae though you are a strong young lady and i appluade you for being strong and not giving up on life . Stay strong the worst is gone and now you shall be happy. Thank you for telling your story.

  • OphΓ©lie Cossard

    Your story touched me. You went in foster home from the age of 2. So you have never known a family life. That’s why I want you to meet your mom and little sister. You must have a lot of question to ask. We don’t think that childrens can sleep on the streets, and you only had 9 when it happened. I think you are a very brave young woman who will succeed in life. I hope you to realize all your dreams.

  • Gwenne

    hi I was really touched by your histoir . I hope you could met your mother and your sister and you’ve finally made your grandmother back . Finally I would really like you manage your life after all the ordeal that you have overcome.

  • Claire

    Hi, I’m Claire ! I really want to help homeless people but I’m still young so it’s difficult. The only thing that I can do it’s to wish you best luck in your life and I’ll give you power and hope to succeed in what you undertake. Just smile, you can do it well πŸ™‚

  • Pauline1209

    Goodluck and God bless yall…the interviewees and the invisible ppl team. We will all do our part and be politically active to help fix this planet!

  • Florine Legrand

    Hello! I’m Florine, after had listened your interview I realize that your life wasn’t everytime easy but you have keep your courage and your strenght!
    I hope sincerely that your future will be happy and that a day you will find your family πŸ™‚

  • Itsjust me

    Does anybody know how to get ahold of Jonahlisa?
    I tried calling the Covenant House but they apparently are closed
    until tomorrow – only open until 4pm. I was hoping to find a page
    of her own on facebook but when I typed in her name, it immediately
    brought me to this. I also noticed of course her story was published
    I believe in 2013? or 2015? I can’t remember what the date said below
    the youtube video, but now obviously it’s 2018 so I’m thinking it might be
    a little difficult to reach out to her. I feel led to reach out to ALL of these
    poor souls who need our help! I am so tired of the rest of the world walking
    by acting like they don’t see these poor souls in need! Shame on the
    government for making it so difficult to get the help that they need. For
    making everything 100 times harder with paperwork and red tape. I
    just wanted to hug this sweet girl!!! πŸ™

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