When I was about 6 or 7 years old I was living with my grandma and my five brothers and sisters, together with my dad and his girlfriend. It was pretty crowded and crazy and I didn’t feel like I was a part of any of it. I didn’t even make it to school most days.
And then Grandma was diagnosed with cancer and all the attention went to her. When my dad’s girlfriend left after Grandma moved to Arizona we had to move out of the house. My dad took me to stay with a friend of mine who lived in Cascade Locks, but they only let me stay for a few days.
I didn’t even know where my dad was, so then I was homeless and went and lived under the bridge for a few months. I tried to get a job so I could buy food and get a place to live, but there weren’t many jobs available.
Then, finally a friend’s mom heard about Youth Empowerment Shelter and helped me get in. Now I’m going to school daily and trying my best to make a successful life. I even have a beautiful, talented girlfriend. I’m happy for the first time in my life. I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if it weren’t for that friend and the Y.E.S. house.