Growing up, both of my parent’s sold drugs. My father was a member of one of the most violent gangs in NJ. My family was split between NJ & Florida where my sister and brother lived.
I thought traveling between states was normal and my family just went on vacation a lot.
I would soon realize my parent’s were going back and forth often because they were involved in drug trafficking. On one of our “vacations” both of our parents got arrested and we were placed with a foster family.
In that foster home, I was told I would need to move out before I turned 18. While this family provided allowance for choirs, about $5 a week didn’t compare to the wads of cash I had been receiving daily from my parents.
I followed their path and began selling drugs too. My dad was released after two years in prison, my mother though would have served 18 years but she committed suicide in prison.
I moved back with my father after I got kicked out by my foster family. I never went back to school and lived with my dad in a one bedroom apartment.
During a drug raid I barely escaped from, I didn’t get arrested but over time I did have a history of drug possession, assault and robbery charges all before I was 18.
I had found out about Covenant House NJ through a staff member who worked at another shelter in Jersey City.
But I didn’t go there until the Jersey City Outreach team had found me walking the streets in the city because I had no place to go. They brought me to Newark and that was when my life changed.
I am currently working on pursuing my GED and getting a job at The Newark International Airport.