“I told them I was a wanted person and that if I didn’t contact someone, the authorities would be looking for me, so they let me make a phone call. That was stupid of them, but I was able to reach my mom, and she got in touch with Homeland Security. I turned a trick for $80 and bolted out of the hotel door as soon as I was done. I ran to the nearest house, the person called a taxi for me, and I got to my mom’s.
“I was still huffing inhalants and drinking, and I needed help. Between the Homeland Security people and the facility that my mom contacted, they found a community living program for me. I remember my mom crying when we got the email that I was accepted. It was 3:42 in the afternoon. I’ll never forget that. My parents brought me to the program that weekend, and I’ve been in it for six months. I was suspicious and so scared when I first got here. I couldn’t believe people would do this for me without expecting anything back.
“I’m 20 years old, but I feel 40. My life is so different now because I have love. Real love. I don’t have to second-guess the decisions of the people who work here because they have my best interests at heart. I’m in an environment where there is no chaos, no pimps, and no hoes. My hope for the future is that someday I can give back by helping some other crazy 20 year old.”