How did you meet StandUp For Kids?
At Artesian Well in August 2018 through an outreach event when you brought musical instruments. I was at Purple House but I kept seeing fliers and was drawn to the idea of peer counseling. I did not like staying in shelters or in tent city so I decided to take the steps to make a change. Originally I thought you were like everyone else, someone who just handed out food or supplies.
Tell us your story
I was in foster care and was not allowed social media, I could not talk to others my own age to share what I was dealing with. I would self-harm and stuff because I was attempting to cope. I had a suicide attempt in Michigan and my roommate found me and took me to get help. My adopted mom would sometimes beat me with a belt with my pants down as a teen, and she would slap me in the face over grades and I ran away when I was 15. They thought I was 18, I made money but they would steel it. I liked working a regular job, I enjoyed my coworkers but I did not want to be reminded of things from the past.
I moved here from Michigan to get away from drugs and memories that were difficult. I was trafficked as a youth. I used drugs regularly until I moved to Washington. My biological mom abused me when I first moved here for a month and a half, so I left and decided it was better to be homeless. I don't know why I thought that was good idea, but I left in June of 2017. I was used by a lot of the guys in the shelters when I first went onto the street. I have my boyfriend and he uses drugs sometimes, which is an issue.
I am hopeful for the future. I want a job and I want to finish the EEP program at the YWCA.
Nina's current status
Nina is doing well. Through us, she is participating in the job training program four days a week. She checks in with us weekly to update us on her progress and for support. We are currently helping her with obtaining her Washington state ID and social security card to get her back into high school and helping her to find housing support.