Carrie was a 16-year-old runaway girl with no place to go and no one to care for
her. She was alone and defensive. Her main goal in life was to survive the streets. Her focus was
not on getting an education, going to parties and dances, or attending football games. She was too
busy trying to find shelter, food, and safety. She protected herself with "attitude," and to the average
person wouldn't look like a viable candidate to enter treatment or the programs and services at the Center.
She had the potential to be disruptive to the other residents at the Center and to change the climate in
the house when she arrived; and sure enough, her initial attitude made her transition into the Center difficult.
To the untrained eye, Carrie would be considered a lost cause; she'd appear to be a big risk, and some
might back away from trying to help. But in the eyes of the staff at the Center, Carrie was a young
lady who had potential, a future; and, because they view these young adult women with that positive
"I can help attitude," the women who pass through the doors at the Center have every chance of changing
their lives, creating families, and planning real futures for the first time in their lives.
The obstacles Carrie faced were many. Fear, change, responsibility, getting her GED, ultimately finding a job, and caring for a new baby all loomed large. But Carrie slowly began to realize that she had a choice to make. Through counseling and discussions, the staff determined the direction in which Carrie and others like her need to go. The right programs, the right treatment and, equally importantly, kind and gentle love — things that many, if not most, of the women who come to the Center have never known, are all part of the experience at the Center. Through constant encouragement, and by receiving the tools she needed to change, Carrie broke the cycle of abuse and fear to face the future with her child in a new and healthy way.
Throughout their stays at the Center, adolescents and adults are taught to find their inner strength through spirituality. Carrie had never believed she was worthy of anything, but she learned to rethink who she is, and in the process she learned how to believe in her capabilities and to depend on herself from now on. Through the parenting classes she attended, Carrie realized she wanted to be a good mother, and slowly she began to understand that being that kind of mother meant accepting all of the responsibilities of being a good parent.
Carrie came into the Center with a destructive, self-defeating attitude; but by the time she left, she was looking forward to being a mother, creating a home, and providing for herself and her child.
Today, Carrie is positive contributor to society, excelling at her job, taking care of her son, and planning for the future. Because good people support the Center, Carrie has a real chance for a happy life and a happy ending.
We have changed Carrie's name to protect her privacy.