16-year-old Ava had been experiencing a lot of conflict at home and had few relationships outside of her family, so when an older man started paying attention to her, treating her to Starbucks, and complimenting her, she was over the moon. After only a few months of knowing each other she moved in with him and became even more isolated from her peers and family. She became dependent on him for food and shelter, and he started asking her to entertain people he said were his friends. When she said no, he would sometimes threaten her, but more often he would make big promises about their future together. She was scared of him, but also scared to lose the only adult she thought she could count on. After sleeping on the streets for almost a week after a particularly bad night at his apartment, Ava came to U-Turn and was able to get immediate housing and support at Cocoon House.
After coming to trust our staff and attending I Empathize, a week-long Cocoon House workshop for teens on developing healthy boundaries and relationship discernment, Ava has safe housing, consistent school attendance, and is learning to determine for herself what relationships are healthy and positive in her life. She has re-engaged with her family and they are attending regular counseling session together.
Ava is able to build a better future for herself thanks to the resources provided by this community.
Thank you for helping Ava and so many youths like her get their lives back!