Carrie, 19, was brought to the YES Drop-In Center by friends when she was 17 years old. Carrie was in and out of foster care as she grew up, and after years of instability and dealing with her mother and stepfather's abusive relationship, she left home at the age of 15.
Without a job and family support, Carrie surfed couches of family members and friends. She also spent the night on the street on a few occasions.
"I slept in the park downtown twice," says Carrie. "I was scared, but luckily it wasn't too cold out."
Carrie utilizes as many of the services as she can at the Drop-In Center, helping her gain access to services she cannot afford alone. She attends prenatal and parenting classes and picks up a pantry bag every week. She currently lives in a hotel with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend has a job but as a young, pregnant teen, Carrie has had no luck finding work.
Although her relationship with he mother has improved, Carrie still doesn't get the support she needs from her family. She often looks to YES staff for that support.
"I feel like I can come to the staff here about anything," she says. "They help me a lot and are always here to talk to."
Carrie and her boyfriend plan to save enough money to get their own place, and when that happens she hopes she can give back to YES.
"I do what I can to help out," says Carrie. "But I'd like to be able to give more."