• 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

    Following fire, Eagle River residents get home safety tips

    by Eric Ruble on May 28, 18:49

    The recent fire near Eagle River has reminded some Alaskans of the need to be fire ready, or “FireWise.” The Anchorage Fire Department’s FireWise program is helping Alaskans keep their properties safe this summer, when fire conditions are considered dangerous. Watching the plumes of smoke billow from his Eagle River balcony Friday afternoon, Rick Roberts […]

  • Sports

    High school runner brings spotlight to Alaska transgender policy

    by Jake Edmonds on May 28, 13:05

    Haines runner Nattaphon Wangyot qualified for the girls 1-2-3A 100-meter and 200-meter finals Friday afternoon at the high school state track and field meet, but unlike her competitors, she was born with male anatomy. Transgender equality has become a hot topic of discussion around the country, and Alaska is no exception. The Alaska Schools Activities […]

  • News

    Pasco frozen food company lays off 61 in wake of recall

    by Associated Press on May 28, 12:32

    A Pasco frozen food company has laid off 61 more workers amid an ongoing shutdown in connection to listeria contamination in some of its products. The Tri-City Herald reports that CRF Frozen Foods announced the additional layoffs Friday, raising the total number of workers laid off to more than 300. CRF Frozen Foods has recalled […]

  • Lifestyle

    Earliest snowmelt on record in Barrow

    by Emily Russell / KNOM on May 28, 12:21

    Snow in the northernmost town in the nation is melting earlier than ever before on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Observatory in Barrow reported a snowmelt staring on May 13. That’s 10 days earlier than the previous record set in 2002. NOAA has been recording snowmelt from its Barrow Observatory for over 70 years. The […]

  • News

    Health experts: Move Rio Olympics due to Zika outbreak

    by Associated Press on May 28, 10:25

    Health experts on Friday urged the World Health Organization to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak. The 150 experts — including former White House science adviser Dr. Philip Rubin — issued an open letter to the U.N. health agency, calling for the games to be delayed or […]

  • News

    Crews work to mop up Hiland Fire near Eagle River

    by KTVA 11 News on May 27, 22:18

      Last updated at 3:11 p.m. on Saturday, May 28 EAGLE RIVER — A large number of emergency responders spent Friday evening battling a small wildfire near Hiland Road in Eagle River. By Saturday afternoon, the fire was 100-percent contained and crews were conducting mop-up operations, according to the Alaska Division of Forestry (DOF). In […]

  • News

    From WWII to Vietnam: Wasilla veteran remembers 28 years of service

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 27, 21:36

    There may not be many people who can claim they fought in World War II, became a German prisoner of war then stayed in the military to complete two tours of duty in Vietnam, but Wasilla resident Walter Ferguson is one of them. Walt and his wife Lila are both 91 years old. They met […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage store goes above and beyond to support deaf employees

    by Shannon Ballard on May 27, 20:30

    Inside the South Anchorage Petco there are plenty of sounds to grab your attention, but 22-year-old Joseph Martin works in silence. “I can’t hear and it’s hard they don’t understand. I can’t talk,” Joseph Martin said using sign language. When KTVA spoke to Joseph Martin on Friday, his mom Jane did her best to interpret. […]