August 14, 2019

Justine’s Story

I grew up in Newark, New Jersey. When I was younger my mother killed my sister who was only five months old and went to jail. Never having met my own father, it led me to a foster home.

After six months, I ran away. I didn’t attend school for a year and lived at my friend’s house. Eventually, I ended up in another foster home where I was abused by the older sister. Upon trying to defend myself, I then was removed from the house.

I left and went to another friend’s house and stayed there for two years while attending school. But I couldn’t stay there forever. I ended up having to go to another foster home and this time, it worked out until they moved to Colorado. I ended up in another group home in Jersey City.

When I signed up for Job Corps that is when I first heard about Covenant House, New Jersey and went immediately.

One day, I ran into my mother riding the bus. Not only did she not recognize me, she didn’t remember even having me.

Soon enough, I ended up pregnant and my child was taken from me and given to my aunt. I continued to couch surf until I returned to Covenant House and they welcomed me with open arms.

I am now trying to find a job and do better for myself and my daughter. My goal is to move into our Rights Of Passage program, save my money and have my own place. I dream of getting a degree in business and culinary arts. Without Covenant House and them giving me a second chance none of this would be possible.