Homeless in High School

by Christina

When I was 15 years old my mom and I moved to Chattanooga from Cincinnati, Ohio because my biological father had become abusive, and it was time to leave.  My mom thought she had a job transfer lined up, but it fell through after we arrived so she looked for a job while we stayed in a hotel. When the money ran out we ended up at Chattanooga Room in the Inn.

My 9thgrade friends didn’t know I was homeless.  I was pretty quiet after all that had happened. I met a girl in my Biology class, the other quiet girl, and started talking to her. When I told her I was homeless she was shocked! We’ve been best friends ever since.

After a few weeks at CRITI my mom found a job. Being homeless was really motivating for me. It made me want to push harder, not only for me but for my mom. I knew how hard she worked.”

In 2018, 60% of the population experiencing homelessness were children. ((https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2018-AHAR-Part-1.pdf)) CRITI's children's programs address emotional and learning issues that can occur as a result of homelessness.

In high school I participated in the Outward Bound program, got good grades and graduated Valedictorian! Then I received a full scholarship to Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC. During college I had the opportunity to study abroad and went to China. I volunteered to work with autistic kids while I was there. My major was Business Administration – International Business and I graduated cum laude in May 2015 with a 3.5 GPA.

I love helping people, especially women, and I am a volunteer at Room in the Inn.

You know what CRITI does?  It gives women hope!  With a secure place to go, a safe haven, this helps overcome abusive relationships where a woman might feel she needs a man – any man — in her life for financial stability and a roof over her head.  That’s how women end up in something horrible like sex trafficking. The people supporting CRITI are making a difference in the world without knowing how far reaching it really is.  Thank you for helping.

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"Being homeless was really motivating for me. It made me want to push harder, not only for me but for my mom. I knew how hard she worked."

CRITI Provides Support for Homeless Children

Children who reside at Chattanooga Room in the Inn receive case management services, tutoring, and therapeutic activities to prevent them from getting behind in school, developing emotional problems, and potentially becoming homeless as an adult.
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