The Relatives’ Family Update – February 2020
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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
See Us In The News
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
Jennifer Doyle will be dancing to raise funds for our youth and young adults. $1 equals one vote for Jennifer.