Gabby’s parents had a long history of substance use and were routinely putting Gabby and her siblings in dangerous situations. As an elementary and middle school student, Gabby managed the household and took care of her younger brothers. She was the one getting them up for school every day. She was the one making sure they had dinner every night. Then when Gabby was 17 years old, Boulder County was notified of their home situation. Everything changed. Her brothers were sent to a foster care home, but at nearly 18 years old, there was no foster option for Gabby. Attention Homes’ Residential Program was the safest alternative. She was placed in our care and this was the first place where Gabby was taken care of, rather than being responsible for taking care of others.
When she was getting ready to turn 18, we needed to find another safe space for her to go. Gabby was now 18 years old and soon would age out of Attention Homes’ Residential Program. She considered returning to her parents but was determined to get away from that lifestyle and become an independent adult. With that goal in mind, Attention Homes’ Residential Program staff helped Gabby transition to our Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter. With access to safe housing, basic services, and case-specific support, Gabby was able to accomplish a lot during her stay at our emergency shelter. She graduated from high school, engaged in therapy, got a job, and saved up enough money to buy a car and computer. Against all odds, her employer consistently reported that Gabby was an extremely reliable employee. It is a testament to her character that she was able to achieve so much despite the stressors associated with staying at an emergency shelter. After a few months Gabby expressed interest in independent housing and started working with our Transitional Living Program Case Manager to meet her next goals. Over the course of six months, Gabby worked with our Transitional Living Program Case Manager, gaining independent living skills to ensure success after leaving our program.
When she was 19 years old she transitioned into her own apartment and has been consistently growing and meeting individual goals around stable employment, furthering her education, mental health, and repairing relationships. Gabby has been stably employed, she’s working on repairing her relationship with her mom, and just applied for a scholarship to Front Range Community College. Additionally, Gabby has been working with our Clinical Director to address anxiety issues resulting in large part from her tumultuous upbringing. We’ve watched as Gabby has grown into a stable and thriving young woman. She has big dreams for her future and hopes to own her own business one day.