When Carlos arrived at Covenant House as a teenager, he had no idea how different his life could be. He’d fled a toxic situation at home, bundling his hopes and dreams and walking eight miles to Covenant House California in Hollywood. Like so many youth who come through our doors, he found at Covenant House a community that supported and encouraged him. He felt seen and heard, his life gained structure, and his confidence grew. He recalls that he and his housemates were filled with “massive hope.” When a counselor noticed Carlos’ passion for technology and art, he introduced him to the career that would change his life: animation. Follow Carlos’ fantastic journey in this animated short.
Kenny first came to Covenant House Pennsylvania when an employee at a job readiness program convinced him to find a safer and more stable environment to live - he had recently been kicked out of his home after an argument with his father and brother and found himself in an abandoned house. Kenny has lived in his own apartment in Northeast Philadelphia for the past three years, but he doesn’t miss an opportunity to return to Covenant House to spend time where he has always felt welcomed. Kenny regularly volunteers his time at Covenant House, offering to speak at events like the Sleep Out or running errands for staff to show his appreciation for the love and respect he felt as a resident there from 2016-2018. Read more about Kenny in this Volunteer Spotlight in the Covenant House Newsroom.
“Not having someone show up for you your entire life and then having people show up consistently is life changing” says Liora, a former resident of Covenant House New Jersey. When she was 17 years old and pregnant with her son, she ended up at Covenant House after being kicked out of her home, where she found safety and stability, but, most importantly, she found her purpose in life. Staff at Covenant House, especially a woman named Jen, inspired her to create healthy routines for her and her son, return to school to ultimately receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and seek employment in the social services sector. Today, Liora serves as the director of operations at Elem, an Israel-based nonprofit, which is 82 programs strong in 42 cities, working with youth ages 9-26. Watch Liora and Jen reunite for an interview for Night of Covenant House Stars.
Stories of Impact
In their own words, Covenant House youth, staff and supporters share the devastating price of homelessness and what love can accomplish.
“I learned that my life was my own and that I couldn't live it for other people. My counselor also helped me work on my jump shot, so there's that.”
“I kept wondering what was in it for these people. Why did they care so much? But it didn’t take long to see that no one there was working 9 to 5 just to pick up a paycheck. They were all authentic, caring people. Even when I would leave Covenant House, they always welcomed me back and we would start over. I’ll never forget that.”
Hannah and her daughter were welcomed into the Covenant House community, and she saw it as her chance to create a new path and travel the road that others did not imagine she’d be on. She recalls how good it felt “to be seen and heard after so many years of feeling alone.”