3/30/10

Sharing Ebony's Story

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing an impressive young woman for a newsletter article I'm writing for a client. I was so impressed by her story that I wanted to share it here. If she inspires you too, you can make a donation to Covenant House by clicking here.

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In just four months, 19-year-old Ebony’s life has changed in ways she never could have imagined.

“If you want to get somewhere in life, you just have to go for it. I took a chance. I just put God on my side,” said Ebony. With an attitude like this, it is hard to believe that just four months ago, Ebony was homeless and without hope.

Prior to being homeless, Ebony lived in New Orleans, Louisiana with her mother, who was in an abusive relationship. Ebony knew she needed to get away, but she didn’t know where to turn. She saved as much money as she could to buy a ticket on the bus out of town.

“I didn’t really know where to go so I just decided to go to somewhere far away,” she said. Upon arriving in Memphis, Tennessee, Ebony decided to get back on the road again, purchasing a ticket to St. Louis. When she arrived in St. Louis, she was surprised by the cold weather.

“I had never experienced cold like this before,” she explained. So she continued travelling by bus until she knew she only had enough money for one more ticket. In her heart, she felt she needed to go back to St. Louis.

When she arrived in St. Louis the second time, she met and befriended a Samaritan who allowed Ebony to stay in her home for a night. The next day, Ebony met another woman, told the woman about her situation, and the woman called the police.

“They took me to this shelter, but it just didn’t look right. I was really glad when I didn’t have to stay there,” she said. Fortunately, the police were able to get in touch with the staff at Covenant House Missouri, and they were able to welcome Ebony into their emergency crisis program. Ebony’s biggest surprise when she arrived at Covenant House was how nice the living space was. She says, “It was not what I thought a shelter would be.”

Eventually, Ebony made the next step into the Transitional Living program. Ebony has been living at Covenant House for about four months now, and she has accomplished more in that time than she could have dreamed.

“I’ve been working hard on my GED. I just have one more test to see if I get it, but I’ve taken the practice test,” she said. “I am also working with the Garden Rangers as my job.” Ebony now has goals for her future that include continuing to work toward her GED, keep her part time job, attending college and eventually becoming a registered nurse.

“I just keep setting goals for myself. I feel like now I really have potential,” she says. “I’ve had a lot of down times in my life, and since I’ve been here at Covenant House, things are coming around.”