• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 23s

Covenant House helps 5,000 homeless teens a year

By Heather Hintze 7:18 PM November 15, 2013

Nonprofit works with ASD to provide support and keep kids in school

ANCHORAGE – There are many problems facing homeless teens in Alaska, and sometimes all they need is just someone to talk to.

Covenant House provides caseworkers who are there to listen.

“There are some days you just have too much on your mind and there are certain staff in here I can just sit down and vent, cry, go on for hours,” explained 19-year-old Amanda, who declined to give her last name.

She’s been homeless for the past year and is currently living at Covenant House.

Amanda says it’s caseworkers like Jeni LaChance who have helped her get through the bad times.

“The day I was to the point where I didn’t want to do it anymore; you just get tired. She was like, ‘I don’t care what it is; I will not let you give up. Even if I have to push for you for a little bit,’ she would do that. Those words, that’s what’s been keeping me going lately,” Amanda said.

LaChance knows how important it is for teens like Amanda to have support: she was homeless when she was 15.

“I didn’t feel like I had anyone there to support me, and when I realized staff at Covenant House was willing to step in and be that rock I so desperately needed in my life, it became my goal to give that back to our youth,” LaChance said.

Covenant House works closely with the Anchorage School District to make sure education continues to be a priority.

Each year ASD has about 2,000 kids who are homeless at one point.

One program helps students by keeping them in the same school for the entire year and provides transportation if they move somewhere else in town.

“We have kids that are moving all around the city and they’re not sure where they’re going to sleep at night or where their friends are going to be, but they know because of our program when they go to school they’re going to see that same teacher and classmates,” explained Dave Mayo-Kiely, the Coordinator for ASD’s Child in Transition Program. ”School becomes the stabilizing factor in their lives. They might not know where they’re sleeping tonight, but they know they’re going to go back to that same school.”

Amanda knows the importance of education as well and is working toward an associate degree in health care management.

She said there’s often a stigma around homeless teens and encourages people to keep an open mind.

“You look at me you wouldn’t think I stay at Covenant House, but I do. I don’t care though,” she said. “I’m laying my head down somewhere warm and safe. I have a job, I go to school. Don’t judge me because of where I stay. Judge me by what I do.”

With Covenant House’s help, she’s doing her best to get back on her feet.

Latest Stories

  • News

    White House releases new details about presidential visit to Alaska

    by Eric Ruble on Aug 28, 14:07

      ANCHORAGE — In a telephone conference Friday, Senior Presidential Advisor Brian Deese provided more information about President Obama’s itinerary and goals for his Alaskan trip. The overarching purpose of the visit, according to Deese, is to bring awareness to climate change and discuss potential solutions. Deese said the president will arrive in Anchorage on […]

  • News

    Kotzebue prepares for President Obama’s visit

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Aug 28, 13:12

    The president will visit the Arctic during his stop in Alaska next week. The White House says President Obama will be in Kotzebue to see how the people are affected by climate change. KTVA’s Emily Carlson shows us how the village is dealing with warmer winters and erosion.

  • News

    Judge denies temporary restraining order to halt Medicaid expansion

    by Lauren Maxwell on Aug 28, 13:04

    An Alaska Superior Court judge has denied a temporary restraining order to stop Medicaid expansion. Judge Frank Pfiffner said he was asked to decide if Gov. Bill Walker could legally accept funding for Medicaid expansion for a new group of individuals without legislative approval. He said he wasn’t ruling on whether Medicaid expansion was a […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Tanana Rafters

    by Daybreak Staff on Aug 28, 11:59

    Members of Tanana Rafters describe their sound as “bluesy folk rock.” Jamie Whiteman, Matt Faubion, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Harrison Jennings and Jamie Goudreau make up the Anchorage-based band. They got their start in 2013 after a brief run-in with Faubion, Whiteman said. “I was thinking about recording, I was playing a lot of solo stuff,” Whiteman […]

  • News

    Shell pauses Arctic offshore drilling for high wind, water

    by Associated Press on Aug 28, 10:21

    A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC says he’s not sure when exploratory drilling will resume off Alaska’s northwest coast after high winds and waves shut down operations Wednesday. Curtis Smith says in an email that all critical operations were paused in the Chukchi Sea because of high wind and waves. The Polar Pioneer, a […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Aug. 28

    by KTVA Weather on Aug 28, 10:03

    Anchorage Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s. Winds NW 10-25 mph, with higher gusts possible. Kenai and Prince William Sound Mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s. *A high wind warning is in effect through 10 a.m. Friday for western and northeastern Prince William Sound. This includes Seward, Whittier, […]

  • DayBreak

    Meet Frankie, this week’s Daybreak Adopt-A-Pet

    by Daybreak Staff on Aug 28, 9:17

    From the Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center: You wouldn’t know it now, but when Frankie first came to the shelter he was in rough shape. He had been abandoned inside a trailer for nearly three months, so he was very thin and dehydrated. But shelter staff took care of him for nearly a month: […]

  • Politics

    Fairbanks politicians warned for violating ‘billboard law’

    by Associated Press on Aug 28, 8:06

    Politicians in Fairbanks and the rest of the state are receiving letters warning them to obey the “billboard law” with their campaign signs. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1JBpU4M) that the law prohibits political signs on property along state-maintained roads, which in the Fairbanks North Star Borough are most roads. For a sign to be […]