As we approach this season of gratitude, we thank you for your support, which has made the difference in the lives of many young people. Be inspired by Laura’s story of persistence and resilience to find education, employment, housing, community, and a safe environment for her son.
Laura’s quick smile and easy warmth belie her early life challenges. She was put into foster care as a toddler after her biological mother was unable to care for her. Laura was adopted by a family who helped keep her connected to her mother, but she has painful memories of growing up and struggled throughout her teens led to her becoming homeless.
At age 16, after being on the streets a few months, Laura met one of the HomePlate Outreach Team at a transit station. He listened to her concerns and gave her water and beef jerky. He also invited her to drop-in for a meal, resources, and a safe place to be. At that time she was living on the streets and hanging out with “a bad group of people who were into drugs.” Although her life on the streets was chaotic, HomePlate became a place of consistency, caring, and safety. With HomePlate’s support she completed her high school diploma and eventually worked with the Youth Employment Program dog-sitting at the Beaverton Farmers’ Market.
When Laura was 18, she was shocked to learn she was pregnant. After her son Caden was born, HomePlate staff visited her in the hospital and helped her with clothing, diapers, and more. She strongly felt she needed to change her abusive and unstable situation for the sake of her child. Laura stayed with friends and family, worked several different jobs, and kept coming to HomePlate drop-ins. Caden enjoyed the HomePlay program and knows many of our Core Volunteers.
Last spring, Laura had a chance meeting with the manager of a Starbucks Coffee shop and was hired as a barista. She loves her job, has been given more responsibilities, and was just promoted to Shift Manager. With the help of HomePlate’s Outreach Team, she also applied for a transitional living program through Boys and Girls Aid. She now has stable and safe housing and the support she needs to keep it. Sometimes it is hard being a single parent, but she says, “Everything I do is so that Caden can have a better life. He is my number one priority even when things are tough.” At age 23 she still occasionally comes to drop-ins and enjoys connecting with the HomePlate community.
We are deeply inspired by Laura’s energy and determination. Your generous support makes successes like Laura’s possible.