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The Relatives’ Family Update – February 2020

Please ensure you scroll down to read all of the recent stories in this month’s newsletter. If you would like to be added to our email distribution please email your information to development@therelatives.org.


Meet Robert.

Robert was just two weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he found himself abandoned and homeless. Luckily, a yellow sign was able to empower Robert to find hope in the middle of his crisis and provide a path toward stability.

Before Robert came to The Relatives, he was ready to give up on life. He grew up in an abusive home where he endured the unthinkable. Like many teens who face abuse in the home, Robert craved attention in the wrong places, which ultimately led him into some trouble with the police. He ended up serving some time in the juvenile justice system, and when he was released, he returned home to find his house empty. His parents were gone. They had packed up, left town, and Robert had no idea where they went. He felt completely unloved by his family.

With nowhere to go and no one else in the area to reach out to, Robert ended up sleeping on a bench in Freedom Park. One day, he was walking up East Blvd. and happened to see the Safe Place sign on our youth crisis center. Safe Place is a national program that The Relatives manages in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. Any child ages 7-17, like Robert, can go within a location hosting a Safe Place sign and ask for help. The Relatives then works with the partner location to transport the child to our location.

Thankfully, Robert had heard a presentation in his school about Safe Place and knew what the sign meant. He rang our doorbell and was welcomed with open arms. We met his most basic needs first, making sure that he had a nourishing meal, clean clothes, and a hot shower. Once Robert was comfortable, we began to talk to him about his situation. We learned that his parents had abandoned and moved to another state. With the help of Department of Social Services and local police, we were able to locate Robert’s father and convinced him to come back to Charlotte and release Robert into our care.

We worked quickly with Robert to ensure he would be stable once he left our care. We immediately wrapped our services around him to make sure he was able to transition successfully into adulthood. Today, Robert is a manager at a local retail store and thriving in our community. Because of your support, Robert received the love and support he never had so he could move beyond his crisis toward independence.

Who knows where Robert would be without that yellow sign.

Celebrate National Safe Place Week

Help us end Safe Place week on Saturday, March 21st from 9:30am-12:30pm as we journey from Freedom Park up East Boulevard to our youth crisis center where we end with a family-friendly celebration in honor of those like Robert who have taken the journey from crisis to safety, stability and independence.
To register for Robert’s Walk and Community Celebration, click here.



See Us In The News

We’ve been getting a lot of buzz, lately! Our Executive Director, Trish Hobson, was recently part of a panel discussion on youth homelessness in Charlotte on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks. Later in the segment, a young adult who utilizes the services at our On Ramp Resource Center discusses her personal experience with navigating homelessness and how The Relatives was able to help.
You can listen to the segment here!
We shared Amber’s story with you last month, and we also were able to highlight her journey and our amazing partnership with HOAR Construction during a segment on WBTV News. See the story for yourself!


Be A Robert’s Walk Volunteer

We wouldn’t be able to celebrate Robert and all of our other youth who find a Safe Place properly without the help of volunteers. We’d love for you to lend a helping hand! We are looking for folks to assist with setting up for the event, registration, activities, and/or taking down after the event.

You can review and register for open shifts on our SignUp Genius page.

Vote for Jennifer

On March 7, six Charlotte community and corporate leaders will take the Knight Theater stage and raise funds for Charlotte Ballet and six local charitable organizations, one being The Relatives.
Jennifer Doyle will be dancing to raise funds for our youth and young adults. $1 equals one vote for Jennifer.
Support Jennifer and The Relatives today by making a donation!
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    For young people in crisis, The Relatives steps in where no one else can. With a 50-year history, The Relatives is unmatched in finding solutions for the countless challenges that confront the youth they serve. Supporting The Relatives means you are giving relief in place of despair, acceptance in place of rejection and empowerment in place of hopelessness

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