As we gather with friends and family, during this season of giving thanks, we often reflect on all that has happened throughout the year. A new house. A sweet little addition to the family. A promising new job. And, we sit around the table feeling grateful for all that life has given us.

    This warm, inviting place of unconditional love is all that our youth yearn for. But, unfortunately, that isn’t the case with most of the young people we serve here at Covenant House California who are experiencing homelessness and trafficking. Their table is a cold, dark street surrounded with people who prey on them—not praise them. But, with your generosity, we can show them they will always have a place to be safe.

    This Thanksgiving, you can show our youth, like Destiny they will always have a place—at the Cov and in your heart.

    Destiny had a hard time when her father and mother chose alcohol over her. Day after day, she would come home from school to the screams of her mother getting beaten up by her own dad. By graduation, Destiny had decided to move out. Yet, only after a few months, she didn’t have the knowledge or support to sustain a life on her own and ended up living on the streets. By November, she was so malnourished that when our outreach team found her, Destiny not only needed food and water but medical attention.

    From a place of love and support, the Cov staff got her immediate medical care along with clean clothes and a warm meal. Destiny entered our Safe Haven program where she was provided a stable place to simply get better. She was soon transferred into our longer-term Rights of Passage program where she truly excelled as a community college student with a focus on Food and Nutrition.

    And with your help, she learned how to take care of her herself, pay bills on time, and how to cook her own meals.

    The Cov provided 74,036 nights of care last year, and that number is increasing as we make good on our promise to serve even more youth experiencing homelessness and trafficking.

    Each night represents a chance for a young person to sleep soundly, dream freely, and wake invigorated – ready to walk confidently into a world that they were sure had forgotten them.

    As we find ourselves in this season of thanksgiving, we want to make sure you know how thankful we are for you, those who make this work possible. From our family to yours, we wholeheartedly appreciate your generosity.