High school is hard enough as a teenager, and even harder if you’re experiencing homelessness. Through his resilience, Mohammed went from sleeping on park benches to creating a new life path with help from ACH Child and Family Services.
ACH’s Shelter Paves a New Path for Mohammed
Shortly after his mother’s death, Mohammed became homeless. And after months of living on the streets, he was brought to ACH’s Youth Emergency Shelter with only his backpack and a roll of toilet paper.
When Mohammed arrived, he immediately felt relief.
“Emotionally, being homeless hits you because you’re left with your thoughts. I was super sad, but when I came to the shelter, I didn’t have those stressors of being homeless anymore,” Mohammed said. “I became super happy, talkative, and joked around a lot.”
Healing at Morris
Mohammed then moved to the Morris Program on ACH’s Wedgwood Campus.
At Morris, Mohammed was able to deal with the emotions he had from past trauma with the help of ACH staff.
“I do ask them questions about college or different situations that I go through, and[ they have helped me," Mohammad said.
According to Danny Pectol, Director of Residential Services for the Wedgwood home, Mohammed is one of the most resilient kids he has ever met.
“Even going through the tough stuff he’s been through, it hasn’t stopped him from being a positive person,” Danny said.
Mohammed will graduate from high school this month, and he has ambitious goals to become an entrepreneur—but ultimately finding a way he can give back to youth like himself one day.
ACH allowed him to plan his future, and it gave him a chance to just be a kid—something Mohammed was never afforded as a child who had to grow up too fast after the loss of a parent.
Mohammed hopes his journey with ACH inspires other teens experiencing homelessness or other trauma.
“As long as you keep your head high and keep pushing through, you can achieve your goals and whatever your heart desires,” Mohammed said.
Hear the full story of Mohammed’s journey through ACH in episode 8 of Community Conversations: A Podcast by ACH Child and Family Services, “Mohammed, Homeless in High School.”