Youth Stories- 2019

A Yes After I Said No

YouthHope is not a new place to me. I’ve been coming here for a few years. I come for the meals, a place to hang out, and for the help I get. I’ve been able to get a job because of the help I’ve received putting together my resume and getting my Food Handlers Certificate.

I’ve had regular medical appointments and dental appointments because of the partnerships with local businesses. I also rely on their clothing donations to keep me clothed throughout the year.

I thought I was in a good place until my best friend who lives in Oregon contacted me. She wanted me to move up there with the promise of a great job and a great place to live.

I immediately told YouthHope goodbye and hopped on a bus taking me straight to Oregon. Everyone at YouthHope told me to stay and was worried, but I needed to do this for my future.

After a few weeks up there, I realized that this “job” was not a job at all. It was a trafficking ring that I was now stuck in. I was being pushed from man to man and forced to do work for them. I thought I would be able to escape on my own, but I quickly learned that I needed help.

I was able to find a cellphone that I used to call Heidi. I didn’t have anyone else to call and I knew she would help. She immediately called the police and with the location of the cell phone, they were able to trach where I was.

Within a few house, the police shoed up, rescued me, and put me on a bus back to California that YouthHope had bought me a ticket for.

Seeing that bus pull up to a familiar station and see a familiar face from YouthHope felt like the biggest relief.

I now am back at YouthHope, getting the help I need. I’m so thankful that YouthHope helped me even after I left them. They love without limits and say yes even when we say no.