Angel is a beautiful 20-year-old with three babies and quite a story – one with a happy ending, we hope, although the journey is just getting started.
Angel (not her real name) had a hard beginning. She was molested at 12 by her mother's boyfriend. Shortly after that, she was raped by a 25-year-old family member. Her mother was not available much due to issues with drugs.
Not surprisingly, Angel smoked and partied until she was 16. She then slowed down to give birth to the first of three beautiful girls. Shortly thereafter, Angel, the baby, and Angel's mother left their city, and an abusive relationship, to start a new life in Tijuana, Mexico.
Angel met and fell in love with the father of her younger daughters, now one and two years of age. She was five months pregnant with her third daughter when her mother passed away from multiple organ system failure.
The father of the children wasn't around much and ended up in jail on drug charges and fighting. Angel felt very alone with little support. She decided to go to San Diego for help and to build a better life for her and her daughters.
She and the babies got off to a rocky start. They bounced around from hotel to hotel, sometimes couch surfing to make ends meet on $852 a month from the government. She begged and did things she is not proud of, but she did what she thought she had to do to feed, house and clothe her children.
Hungry and broke at the end of the month, Angel met some street friends who introduced her to StandUp For Kids. We helped her get diapers, hot meals, clothing, and access to computer resources. However, Angel still struggled. San Diego rent prices aren't cheap and she continued to engage in sex work at times to provide a roof for her three young children.
Recently, Angel connected with a cousin in a northern state who is willing to take the young family in. StandUp For Kids talked to the cousin and decided to help Angel make the move by paying for the Greyhound tickets for her and her daughters.
The night before they left, several StandUp For Kids volunteers helped Angel pack several bags of clothing. As a going-away present, we also gave her two backpacks – one filled with diapers and hygiene supplies, the other packed with food, snacks, juice, and water.
We spoke with Angel at the station while we waited for the Greyhound. She talked about her dream of becoming a neonatal nurse. She thinks she has a much better chance of making a decent life for herself and the girls now. She was very excited and grateful for this opportunity, and it was heartwarming to see her friends arrive in time to say goodbye and wish her well.
Angel called to let us know that she and the girls arrived safely. They were tired after their three-day bus ride (can you imagine three days on a bus with three toddlers?!), but they are happy to be relocated.
Because of you, Angel was able to start a new chapter in her life.
Donate to the San Diego chapter to help more youth like Angel today.