Nourishing a bright future; Chloe’s story
Chloe* first came the YES Emergency Shelter when she was 16 years old, directly from the care of CAS. She hadn’t been with her biological family for quite some time, and things were unsafe for her in her foster home, so she had to leave. Since then, she’s been on her own.
Before and after she became homeless, Chloe had experienced a lot of trauma. She struggled profoundly most days, so when a spot came up for her in our RISE Youth Housing Program, a program with 24 hr/day support, we made sure Chloe got in.
Once Chloe had her own place to live, with her own room, she began to tackle some of what was making life difficult for her.
One of the more debilitating issues was that Chloe was always tired, and sleeping through a lot of the day. Chloe’s worker helped her realize that this was partially because Chloe rarely ate. She had never been taught how to nourish herself in a healthy and appealing way, and rarely had consistent access to food.
Jodi began asking Chloe what she wanted for house dinner, and what Chloe might find appetizing to snack on. They also set up a goals chart. Every time Chloe ate anything, she got a sticker under that goal on the chart.
With consistent access to nourishing food, Chloe began eating more. First, she was eating small things like a cracker, or piece of fruit here and there. After a while, she told Jodi that she noticed she wasn’t needing to sleep nearly as much. Then she even started making her own meals. Last week, when Jodi was visiting, Chloe had just finished making dinner and insisted on sending Jodi off with left-overs of the taco-casserole she had made, with peanut-butter squares for dessert.
Once Chloe began eating, she started having the energy to attend school at YES’s Carriage House Program.
This past June, Chloe graduated from high school.
Chloe was able to reach this amazing milestone because she has a tireless drive to improve. In the RISE Program, she also has a safe place to live, nourishing food available, and Jodi’s support. When she graduated, Jodi took Chloe out to Riley’s on George St. to celebrate. They sat on the roof top patio, laughed and talked about the future while overlooking the boats on Little Lake.
This past spring, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough provided the YES Shelter for Youth and Families with food security funding to help ensure that young people like Chloe always have access to nourishing food. Great big thanks to the CFGP for their amazing ongoing support of youth and families experiencing homelessness in Peterborough.
To help young people like Chloe overcome their past and exit homelessness, donate here.
*Chloe’s name and likeness has been changed to protect her identity.