Preparing for independence
Melanie’s childhood could be described as turbulent. Unstable. Tragic.
The victim of her parents’ addictions, Melanie was in and out of foster care beginning at the tender age of 7. When her parents were in prison, she was in foster care. When they were released, she was back home. It was a vicious cycle … as Melanie grew older, she understood what was happening, but she couldn’t understand why.
“It was lonely,” she remembers. “They didn’t want to take care of me. Drugs were more important.”
As a teenager, Melanie watched her parents return to prison yet again. This time, though, something changed. When she stepped into our emergency shelter that would be “home” until she joined a group home family, Melanie felt something she hadn’t before experienced.
“I finally felt people cared,” she says.
The caring, guidance and encouragement has only grown, particularly after Melanie “aged out” of foster care at 18 and, as a legal adult, became responsible for every aspect of her well-being. Fortunately, she hasn’t been alone. She’s had Children’s Home Society of Florida.
“You came into my life and made the difference,” Melanie says.
With our help, Melanie works hard to reach goals in her “life plan.” From continuing her education to securing reliable transportation and safe housing, she’s making significant strides.
“Statistics say I should be like my family: addicted to drugs, no roof over my head. But I don’t want to be like that,” Melanie says. “I want to be my own person – strong, independent, responsible. You helped me realize I am somebody.”