Justin’s Story

When Justin was only 2 years old, the police came knocking on the door, investigating why his parents had not been sending his older sister to school. Instead, they found his parents, high on methamphetamine and dealing drugs. This began Justin’s journey through the foster care system. Justin was lucky. He was eventually adopted into a loving family, but still struggled with his past and ha...
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A Story of Hope

Over the past year, your donations enabled Epworth to serve 155 older youth in the Supportive Housing Program, helping them move toward self-sufficiency. This is the story of how your support gave a young girl courage and hope to make a better life for herself and her children. "On the way to the hospital, I drifted in and out of consciousness. Did this really just happen?? Did I really just g...
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Ke’Ron

How Support Becomes Success As a teenager, Williams participated in Epworth’s Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. The program, part of Epworth’s Older Youth Services (OYS) department, provides life skills education and individualized assistance to foster children ages 14-21. “Most young people acquire everyday life skills as they grow up within their families,” says Deanna Allsman, the depart...
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Corey

Spotlight on StrengthRemember the person whose smile can wash away even the worst day? Corey Rasbury has that smile. When Corey was 14, it wasn’t always easy for him to find ways to share that smile. He had behavioral and discipline problems that affected his education. Corey’s teacher believed he wasn’t being challenged enough in his grade level. She referred Corey’s parent to Epworth Children &a...
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Cedric

Cedric was a teenager when he was having disagreements with his father and issues with his parents. Being a determined young man, Cedric continued to attend high school but never had a home of his own or a regular place to sleep. He was considered a homeless youth in the South side of Saint Louis. Luckily, he was able to find semi-permanent housing with his girlfriend’s mother and continued to at...
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Jessica

I used to be depressed. I hated everyone and everything. I refused to go to school, refused to leave the house and even stopped taking care of myself. Worst of all, I was violent toward my family, and I was afraid they would give up on me. I ended up living at Epworth where they taught me how to deal with my anger and make better choices. The best part was when I got to go home because of the Fami...
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Jamal

When I was 17 my mom told me that I was too much trouble. She moved to Florida with my two brothers and left me behind with no one left in my life, I lived on the streets until I was taken into foster care. I signed up for Epworth's Aging Out program,and even though the staff kept telling me I was a good kid, full of potential, I didn't believe them. But Epworth staff wouldn't let me doubt myself....
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Crystal

As a kid in foster care I didn't get to do all the things I saw myfriends do – like slumber parties, family vacations and summer camp. So even though I thought I may be too old to go to camp at age 17, I wanted to give it a try. I went to Epworth's Youth Leadership Camp where I learned I had courage. When I first tried climbing the rock wall I wanted to give up because I was scared, but the kids t...
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Marcus

When I was 17 my mom died. My dad was never in the picture, so I was on my own and ended up on the streets. My friend let me crash at his place, but his dad got tired of me always being around and took me to YES, Epworth's Crisis Shelter. I didn't like it at first because I had never stayed in a place like YES. I had to do chores, follow rules and talk with a therapist. The staff was supportive an...
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Karen

When I began therapy with Family Support Network, I was twenty years old and was parenting my two toddlers alone. I didn't know how to be a mom. Not only that, I was unemployed, in an abusive relationship, and had no hope for my life. But with help from my therapist, I learned to believe in myself and learned what kind of mom I want to be. Now I understand what my kids need and how to help them, a...
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