At only 14 years old, Elaina made the decision to leave home rather than live with her mother’s drug abuse. That’s a pretty hard call for a young child to make, yet today I met a few homeless youths in Salt Lake City, Utah that felt the streets were better than home.
For the last 6 years, Elaina has been on her own and in some state of homelessness. At one point she had an apartment, but it’s really hard for kids to be mature enough to maintain housing. Plus, at 16 or so, the only income a youth can find is at best part-time, and that’s not enough money to live off.
Elaina is a new mother. She says now having a son helps motivate her to do better. Soon, she’ll be in her own apartment thanks to rapid rehousing program that’s aimed at homeless youth.
Very special thanks to Volunteers of America for allowing me to join their street outreach today.
This Invisible People road trip is made possible by Sevenly and Virgin Mobile USA, who are partnering to end youth homelessness through Virgin Mobile USA’s initiative, RE*Generation. For more information please click here.