Pregnant and Abused Teen Finds Sanctuary and a Future at Covenant House 

Parenting youth | Covenant House

Originally shared by Covenant House Alaska, this story allows us to step into the inspiring journey of Laila, a courageous young woman who found a new beginning at Passage House, a program for pregnant and parenting youth facing homelessness at our Anchorage site. Enduring abuse and battling addiction, Laila’s life took a turn when she discovered Passage House at eight months pregnant. Through the unwavering support of mentors, Laila learned invaluable parenting skills and found the strength to leave her abusive partner. With determination and the aid of Covenant House, she embarked on a journey of self-discovery, setting her sights on a future in nursing. Laila’s story is a testament to the life-changing impact of community support. 

“I was 18 when I found out about Passage House, the Covenant House program for pregnant and parenting teens who are homeless. I was about 8 months pregnant with my son, whose father abused me. At the time, I was living with relatives. The city bus was my only transportation. 

Part of my story includes the fact that I spent my teenage years doing drugs and drinking, just about every day. But when I found out I was pregnant, I quit. I applied to Passage House and was accepted. There, I learned about caring for a newborn. The staff was very helpful while teaching me how to parent my son. I learned a lot in our weekly groups and in our daily conversations. Everyone was very kind, encouraging and understanding. 

I had been in an abusive relationship with the baby’s father, but after four years, I finally made the decision to leave him. With the help of Covenant House, I focused all my attention on my son and myself. I got a job as a teacher at an Early Head Start program, which then enabled me to earn my Child Development Associate credential. I’m happy to report I plan to start college for nursing soon! 

The Passage House staff has been there for me through all of my ups and downs. I have turned to them to share my joys and struggles and they have always supported me. I am very grateful for them. I am here to tell you that there was a time when I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to parent my son, and if it hadn’t been for Passage House and the amazing staff I’m not sure I would be standing here today—the mother of an amazing little boy whom I love so very, very much. 

I am so impressed by the community’s love and support for Covenant House. Thank you for continuing to support our at-risk youth, and the young mothers and their children. You have no idea how much it means to all of us. 


 – Laila, Covenant House Alaska and Passage House graduate 

Shelter Is Only the Beginning

From crisis to care: Find out what it's like when a young person enters our doors.