Seth’s Remarkable Journey
What would you do to escape from crisis? For Seth it meant walking for 3 days and 125 miles. He was running from an abusive home, he was alone, and he was 17 years old.
I want to tell you about this remarkable young man and how Relatives, like you, walked beside him as he made his journey from crisis to stability.
Put yourself in Seth’s shoes and imagine what it would be like if you were afraid to walk into your own home. Abandoned by his mother, Seth was left at the mercy of a violent father. As the youngest and as the only boy, Seth suffered the harshest mistreatment and lived in fear. Seth’s childhood was abusive and unsafe.
Put yourself in Seth’s shoes as he walks alone, over three days and 125 miles, from Fayetteville to Charlotte, escaping from his abusive father and the only home he’s ever known.
And put yourself in Seth’s shoes as he sleeps in the woods and walks to the shelter everyday hoping to find an available bed.
My heart breaks as I share this with you but there is nothing unique about Seth’s circumstances. In our community, children face abuse and neglect, and run away from home every day. There are 50,000 disconnected young people who lack education, employment, and the support systems necessary to achieve independence. And there are young people right here in Charlotte who, like Seth, will sleep on the street tonight.
When Seth walked up to The Relatives, he was homeless, working second shift in a restaurant kitchen, lacked access to reliable transportation, and desperately needed help. Your previous support met Seth exactly where he was. He needed a hot meal, a place to shower and do laundry, and to be surrounded by the kind of compassionate care and guidance every young person deserves.
With The Relatives to walk beside him, Seth was able to find his path forward. He enrolled in and graduated from an HVAC training program. The Relatives helped Seth find a safe, stable place to live and offered rent assistance while he was working towards his HVAC certification.
Today, Seth walks beside The Relatives as a volunteer and as a youth advocate. He shares his love of cooking with other young people by hosting workshops in our teaching kitchen. He uses his lived expertise as a Youth Action Board member to help The Relatives best serve unhoused young adults.
I recently heard Seth say of his new apartment “a 20-minute walk to the bus stop beats the shelter any day.” This from a young man who walked 3 days from Fayetteville to Charlotte. But thanks to The Relatives and your support, he doesn’t walk alone anymore.
Earlier, I asked you to put yourself in Seth’s shoes as he journeyed from crisis to stability. Now I want you to ask yourself what path Seth might have taken if he continued walking alone. Ask yourself what path any young person might take when they feel unloved, frightened, and alone. Ask yourself if you are willing to walk with the thousands of youth and young adults experiencing crisis in our community.
You have a unique opportunity to walk beside the most vulnerable members of our community. When you walk beside our youth, you are letting them know they deserve to be loved, supported, and accepted as their authentic selves.
For the young people served by The Relatives, the road to relief, acceptance, and empowerment can be rocky and strewn with obstacles. You can make their path easier to navigate, show them there can be sunshine after a storm, and tell them they don’t have to walk alone.
Will you walk beside The Relatives by making your gift today?