Marcy's Story: Making It Better
What if you had no home?
What if you were just 16 years old?
Every night, there are thousands of young people who must find answers to these questions. One of those young people was Marcy.
Our Streetwork team met Marcy one night as we were reaching out to find young people in need of help. Marcy told us she was 16 years old and had lived on her own for about a year after she ran away from her foster home. When we asked if she wanted help to get back into a foster home, Marcy refused. She never, ever wanted to go back, she said.
Marcy didn’t want to talk more, but she did take the information we gave her about Streetwork. A month later, Marcy showed up at our drop-in center. Although she only wanted a meal and clothing, we were glad to see that she was all right.
A short time afterward, Marcy came in again. That time, it was an emergency. Marcy had been badly beaten and she needed immediate medical attention. Fortunately, we were able to connect her with our onsite medical partners. She was treated medically, and opened up to us about her life.
She told us she’d suffered physical and sexual abuse from her family and while she was in foster care. For Marcy, there was only choice – escaping to the streets. The streets were no better. Marcy had to sell herself in order to survive, and often endured physical abuse. It was after one of those attacks that made Marcy come to Streetwork, urgently seeking our help.
It was also the first time, Marcy told us later, that she felt she could trust an adult would be there when she most needed help.
At Streetwork, we offer care and support, not judgment, to young people who face crisis. Marcy had already endured years of abuse and had tried to escape it by going to the streets, where more violence waited for her. Marcy needed support. She needed a chance to make it. She needed a chance to have a better life. She wanted our help to get that chance.
We provided Marcy with medical care, and helped arrange for her to receive mental health care so she could deal with trauma from the abuse she suffered. We also provided other practical services for Marcy. The more we helped, the more Marcy trusted us. Soon, Marcy became a regular at our center, and joined peer group sessions and other activities while she received our expert support.
Four years later, Marcy is 20 years old. With Streetwork’s help, Marcy applied for a program that helps young people find stable housing – and was approved for her own place! Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Marcy received a housewarming gift of furniture and kitchenware, which gives her even more confidence in her future and in having the life she deserves.
Now Marcy has a new beginning, a new beginning that’s possible because of people who care about young people in crisis. With your support, Safe Horizon can help change the lives of homeless youth who find themselves alone and facing dark nights. Please help us Make It Better for young people like Marcy, who deserve brighter, safer beginnings. * Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.