Before finding Covenant House, Daniel was living in the streets after escaping an abusive home.

“My dad was addicted to meth and drank a lot,” said Daniel. “He abused my mom [and] sexually abused me for years. And no one knew.”

Daniel’s father’s addiction spiraled out of control after Daniel’s mother left. “I thought she would take us with her, but I guess she was just too scared,” sad Daniel. His father stopped going to work, and they were evicted. His father’s abuse didn’t end when they had to move in with family friends.

“I used to sleep in the truck outside because I was so afraid to be in the same house with him,” said Daniel. It wasn’t long before this innocent child faced a choice none of us should have to make: remain in a violent home or risk the dangers of the streets. Daniel chose the streets.

“When I was 15, I started getting into a lot of fights and ended up dropping out of school,” Daniel said. “One day, I was on the street with one of my friends and a group of boys started taunting us. I ended up trying to ‘handle them,’ and they took out a gun and shot my friend right in the face. To this day I blame myself for his death and that we didn’t just walk away,” he said.

Sexually abused by his father. Abandoned by his mother. His best friend shot to death in front of him. All before he was 18.

Daniel has since found shelter, care, ongoing support, and unconditional love at Covenant House. Covenant House staff are working to help Daniel believe in himself and his future, and that he can change his life for the better.