Big month

Attention Homes looks forward |

Throughout November, we have featured Attention Homes in this space, describing the organization’s expansive and effective outreach to at-risk and homeless youth in our community. November is Colorado Runaway and Homeless Youth Month. Green porch lights are shining throughout Boulder County. Eighty-three people chose to sleep outside on a blustery night. Some terrific restaurants opened their dining rooms for fundraising. All of these efforts are in solidarity with Attention Homes. Together the work continues.

To understand why it all matters, take a moment to meet one of the 700 young people Attention Homes helped this year and profiled in its spring newsletter:

Marty (not his real name) grew up in a rough household, made worse as he identified as a transgendered youth. Marty’s mother suffered from severe mental illness and was physically abusive—at one point she tried to kill him. Marty’s father was unaccepting of his transgender identity and would not call Marty by his preferred name or accept his preferred gender. Marty severly lacked guidance and information about being a transgender youth. He did not feel accepted.

Marty had dropped out of school during his junior year due to bullying and his wretched home life. He was involved with county social services as a minor but aged out of the system. Home was no longer safe for him. Eighteen years old and out of options, Marty had no education, no familial support and no access to social services because of his age. His school guidance counselor, who still kept in touch with him, reached out to Attention Homes to inquire, “Can you help Marty?”

Marty soon came to live in our Runaway & Homeless Youth (RHY) shelter. Our staff contacted our LGBTQ partner program to provide him with resources, connections and information. Marty’s case manager at Attention Homes enrolled him in continuing education courses to finish high school and he began weekly sessions with a transgender support group.

Without the stress of home, Marty was able to focus on school and graduated last May! After living two months at Attention Homes, Marty was able to bring up his grades, get a job and gain the confidence and hope to start life on his own. He got a job at a local restaurant and is currently saving up for an apartment. He recently moved out of the RHY shelter to live with a friend’s family while he continues to save for his own place.

With the support of the community, Attention Homes has made positive new beginnings like these a customary outcome for the youth it serves.

As the month draws to a close and the holidays approach, we encourage our readers to consider Attention Homes an outstanding steward of your financial support and volunteerism. Learn more here.

Attention Homes is a safe resource for youth in crisis providing shelter, structure, and access to crucial services so that homeless and displaced youth can become stable, independent  members of our community and achieve their potential. The organization is our November Featured Friend.