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Youth Voices

Every night, about 2,300 young people will go to sleep in a Covenant House bed. 

Each one of these young people has a unique journey and story to tell. And to be honest, being homeless is the least interesting thing about them. At Covenant House, we know that we're just a chapter in a book that they are still writing. We encourage them to write their own futures and celebrate them as the heroes of their own story.

When you Sleep Out and give up your bed, you are helping provide a bed where a young person will rest on their journey to independence. Here are just some of those journeys:  

“I never knew my dad, and my mom was not able to care for me and my little brother,” she says. “My mom had a severe drug and alcohol problem, and there were always different men coming in and out of her life. For her, it was never about caring for her kids.”


Chyna had dreams at night of what her life would be. Then, she says, she would wake up and realize that nothing was going to change for her. The abuse in her household had gotten bad and she didn’t know where to go.




"I know this is hard to believe, but I just turned 31 and this was my first birthday that I felt like I could celebrate without feeling surprised I survived this long."


“I could not stay at home, I just couldn’t. I am not mad about it but I could not stay there. I left and went to another shelter first, and they told me about Covenant House. I believe things happen for a reason and that I was meant to find this place.”



A resident of Covenant House Illinois, Lajada watched the video of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police with the horror and outrage. She felt she had to channel her indignation and make her outrage heard. Before discharging herself from our program and confronting the police in Chicago, Lajada took her plan to the Executive Director of Covenant House Illinois.


Melvin’s mother passed away when he was just 3 years old. Melvin and his dad moved into a home called Our Little Sisters and Brothers, where they lived until his father died when Melvin was 14. He then moved in with an older sister, but the two were like oil and water; they did not get along. Melvin fled.



When I turned 18, I was kicked out of my home and then bounced from house to house, wherever I could find a safe place to sleep.


In January 2021, DeeDee saw a commercial for Covenant House on TV and was transported back to a much different time in her life. In 1980, at 15 years old, she left her home in Connecticut and hitchhiked with a friend to New York City.


“January 7, 2020. The day I walked into the Covenant House crisis shelter in Philadelphia. I’ll never forgot how scared I was and how the staff made me feel so welcomed right away.

read aNN'S STORY

Sarah and Aayden came to Covenant House looking for stability and support. “When I got pregnant my mom asked me to leave,”...“I have five siblings and my mom said there was just no room or money. I kind of understood, but it still hurt to have to leave…


Out of respect for the privacy of our young people, their name and/or photo may be replaced with an alias and/or model.