“If we truly want to end youth homelessness…then we have to invest in prevention and support communities as they work to implement these life-changing efforts.” – Cindy Lauper, music artist.
Kids end up in state care for all kinds of reasons. In the case of Destiny Jackson, it was a personal choice to walk away from her family at age 13 due to repetitive abuse. That’s a hard choice for a young teenager. It forced her into years of homelessness, couch-surfing, foster homes and group homes.
Due to the instability of Jackson’s living situation, she quickly recognized she would have to personally manage her Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed at age three) since she couldn’t depend on anyone else to do it. Thankfully she had a group of doctors and homeless shelter workers who walked beside her over the next four years to ensure she had what she needed.
Despite all the challenges Jackson faced, she beat the odds and managed her health well. And on top of that, she even snagged 50 college acceptance letters in the process – an amazing feat!
Arana Azari, who covered Jackson’s story on GoodMorningAmerica.com, shares a startling statistic to put Jackson’s situation into perspective: “The National Foster Youth Institute found that only about 50% of kids in foster care finish high school, and less than 3% graduate from a 4-year college.”
Jackson knew she always wanted to go to college and never gave up that dream. She applied everywhere, and to her surprise, ALL of her 50+ applications were accepted. Overjoyed, she had a hard time making a decision and ended up choosing Spelman College in Atlanta. “’[Spelman] has an illustrious history of women in leadership — dedicated, strong-minded, and educated women — and I believe that is me,’ Jackson said, explaining why she chose the historically Black women’s college.”
Congratulations to Destiny Jackson and all the other homeless individuals who are fighting to break through the cycle of homelessness in their lives. Just like the doctors and homeless shelter workers who walked alongside Jackson, you too can be a part of their successful journey by donating your time, talents and treasures to homeless services organizations in your area.
To learn more about Jackson’s story, click here and read Azari’s article in full.
Also, if you’d like an opportunity to help the homeless mothers and babies we serve in Atlanta, Sheltering Grace would welcome your donations. Please contact us at 678-337-7858 to learn how you can help. Each mother and baby will be truly grateful for your kindness.
Sheltering Grace Ministry, Ltd. is a 501(c)3 Ltd. non-profit ministry. We resolve the initial crisis of homelessness by providing mothers with a safe place to live during pregnancy. We also equip them with the tools they need to improve decision-making, enhance employment options, and increase family income to act responsibly as the head of their household. All of our services develop their self-reliance to progress to permanent independent living. Please join us in renewing and rebuilding the lives of these brave women – #Be1of5000.