Imagine having no good memories from your childhood. Zero. Imagine things being so bad at home that the street seemed like a good alternative. For Daniel, none of this was imaginary. This was his life.
“My dad was addicted to meth and drank a lot,” Daniel told us. “He abused my mom, and he sexually abused me for years. And no one knew.”
Eventually, his mother was no longer able to endure the constant torture. One day... she left. “I thought she would take us with her, but I guess she was just too scared,” Daniel said quietly.
After that, his dad’s addictions spiraled out of control. He stopped going to work and they were evicted. They were forced to move in with family friends… but still this did not stop his father’s abuse.
“I used to sleep in the truck outside, because I was so afraid to be in the same house with him,” said Daniel. It wasn’t long before this innocent child faced a choice none of us should have to make: remain in a violent home or risk the dangers of the streets. Daniel chose the streets.
So many of our kids are running for their lives when they run away from home. And like the majority of kids who run, Daniel found out that being alone on the streets is just a different kind of hell…
“When I was 15, I started getting into a lot of fights and ended up dropping out of school,” Daniel continued. “One day I was on the street with one of my friends and a group of boys started taunting us. I ended up trying to ‘handle them’ and they took out a gun and shot my friend right in the face.”
“To this day I blame myself for his death and that we didn’t just walk away,” he said.
Sexually abused by his own father. Abandoned by his mother. His best friend shot to death in front of him. All before he was 18.
After everything, all Daniel kept saying to us was, “I guess I’m just no good.”
“Don’t say that,” we told him. “Stay with us. We are here for you. We love you and care about you.”
Slowly, but surely we are providing him with shelter, care, ongoing support and unconditional love so he may begin to believe in himself and his future.
It’s heartbreaking to think a kid like Daniel doesn’t believe he’s good enough or worthy enough for us to help him. But we’ll be here for him every step of the way, and with friends like you, we know Daniel will finally see that his life can change for the better.
Want to help more homeless kids like Daniel heal from the streets? Make a gift today and every dollar will help provide lifesaving resources for every child who comes through our doors.