Name changed for confidentiality.
Damien was so terrified at home, he wouldn’t even sleep in his own bedroom. He wasn’t afraid of his mom; she was kind and loving. But times were hard, and she had been struggling to provide. And while she thanked God for giving them a roof over their heads, she wished it wasn’t in an area where her kids were scared all the time.
That’s when she decided to reach out to Youth Haven. “I used to go to Youth Haven as a child,” she explained. “Some of the best memories I have as a child.” She was hoping we could help her two boys feel safe and develop lifelong memories, too.
“I have been a single mom for the last 8 years,” she continued. “I struggle everyday as a single parent... I’m currently unemployed but looking for work. We live in the worst part of town. Both of my boys have been in the middle of a shooting while playing at the park across the street from our home. It’s very scary where we live. Any time we hear shots close by we have to jump on the floor just in case a bullet comes through our house.”
What a privilege it was to welcome Damien and his older brother to Youth Haven, where they could play on the playground and in other outdoor areas without being afraid! Where they could sleep in a comfortable dorm, feeling safe and secure. Where caring adults spent time with them and provided for their needs. And where they received assurance that God loves them and will never leave them, even when they feel frightened and alone. They both took home their own copy of the Bible, known as the Youth Haven “Trailbook,” to encourage them in those difficult moments.
Damien returned to Youth Haven for the second time during one of our recent Christmas retreats. His mom earns a little bit of money through babysitting, but still hasn’t been able to find a full-time job to provide for her family. Thanks to the generosity of friends like you, we were able to give Damien Christmas toys and gifts, a special Christmas dinner, and plenty of memories we hope will last a lifetime! He soaked up the truths that were taught in chapel, and we invited him to come back several times throughout the year so we can continue to be a positive influence in his life.
Thank you for your investment in the lives of Damien and his brother, and so many others just like them!