• 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

    New counter tracks number of Coastal Trail cyclists

    by Heather Hintze on Sep 27, 19:24

    The Anchorage Department of Parks and Recreation has a new way to track the number of cyclists using the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Municipal crews installed a bike counter totem at Westchester Lagoon over the weekend. There are two sensors that count riders headed toward downtown or on their ride between Kincaid Park and the […]

  • News

    Support your park: Alaska State Parks gear goes on sale Friday

    by Heather Hintze on Sep 27, 19:13

    The next sweatshirt you buy could help support Alaska State Parks. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 101, which allows the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to collect money from fees or merchandise. That means for the first time the state parks system can profit off park-themed merchandise. Staff printed off more than […]

  • Politics

    Nageak seeks court intervention in lost primary race

    by Associated Press on Sep 27, 19:06

    Lawyers for state Rep. Benjamin Nageak of Barrow allege a number of irregularities during the August primary cost their client the election by eight votes to Democratic challenger Dean Westlake. The trial in Nageak’s lawsuit started Tuesday. His lawyers want a judge to either order the state to properly tabulate votes and recount them or […]

  • News

    Alaska Airlines announces 2017 flights to Havana, Cuba

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 27, 16:42

    Alaska Airlines has joined the ranks of companies permitted to operate commercial flights to Cuba following an ease of restrictions between the U.S. and the communist island nation earlier this year. The first Alaska Airlines flight to Cuba is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2017, out of Los Angeles. The company announced Tuesday it plans to offer daily […]

  • Lifestyle

    It’s a boy! First baby born with DNA from 3 parents

    by Mary Brophy Marcus / CBS News on Sep 27, 15:30

    In what experts are calling a “revolutionary” medical event, the first baby with DNA from three parents has been born. The little boy, now nearly six months old, was conceived using a controversial technique meant to help people who carry genes for fatal rare diseases. The procedure received widespread media attention when lawmakers in the U.K. became the first to approve its use last year. It […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage hospital offers free flu shots at drive-thru events

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 27, 15:26

    ANCHORAGE — Alaska Regional Hospital will be providing free flu shots at drive-thru events every few days over the next month, starting on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone over the age of 13 can get vaccinated. The hospital said in a statement that the drive-thru shots are quadrivalent, meaning it […]

  • News

    Washington mall shooting suspect ordered into mental health treatment

    by Associated Press on Sep 27, 13:50

    Assaults on his parents and inappropriate sexual behavior at school led judges to order mental health treatment for the young man charged with killing five people at a Washington state department store. Court records obtained by The Associated Press detail a series of criminal charges and attempts to rehabilitate 20-year-old Arcan Cetin, who was diagnosed […]

  • Sports

    Regional cross country winner Carl Charlie thanks community for victory

    by Adrian Wagner/KYUK on Sep 27, 13:46

    This story originated from KYUK Public Media and was republished with permission. BETHEL — High School students from across the Delta made the trip to Bethel this weekend to compete in the Lower Kuskowkim School District state qualifying cross country meet. Carl Charlie of Bethel Regional High School took first place for the boys in the 3.1 mile race […]