Our Second Stories
Stories of young people who connected with our programs, got the support they needed, and began writing their Second Stories. (Unless otherwise specified, names and identifying details have been changed to protect privacy.)
Listen to the Second Stories Podcast
The Second Stories podcast is dedicated to telling stories of people who had first stories full of hardship and hopelessness, yet were able to change the narrative and write their own second story. Their stories of resilience and hope, but also tributes to the people and experiences and organizations that made it possible for them to start again.
Emmy’s Second Story
Emmy's dad wanted the very best for his children, but he struggled to make ends meet and his job kept him away from home a lot. Emmy and her younger brother missed him and spent a lot of time alone, until they found the Safe Youth Project.
Robert’s Second Story
When “Robert” graduated from Second Story for Homeless Youth he felt grateful for the counseling, guidance and help finding a stable place to live. But something stood out even more: he was grateful to know that Second Story staff believed in him, something he hadn’t felt before from the people in his life.
Sam’s Second Story
"Sam" never had a great living situation growing up, and things got even worse when he was kicked out at 18. For about a year, he crashed on friends' couches and found other temporary places to live. Eventually, he found Second Story. With our help, he was able to graduate on time and is now pursuing higher education.
Henry’s Second Story
“Henry” came to the shelter after running away several times from his foster family’s home. When Henry turned 18 he would have nowhere to go. Rather than planning on applying for a program like Second Story for Homeless Youth, staff at the Emergency Shelter for Teenagers tried to prepare Henry for a self-sufficient adulthood.
Mercedes’ Second Story
“Mercedes” started coming to the Teen Center in Culmore last year and usually arrived frustrated and discouraged. She had even gotten an F in English. Now, she has raised her grade up to a B and has a safe place to go after school.
Kate’s Second Story
One day, after a huge fight with her mom, sixteen year old “Kate” decided to run away. She ended up far away from the stress at home, but when she found another place to stay she realized it was far more dangerous than what she had left.
Marie’s Second Story
“Marie’s” parents kicked her out right after she turned 18. Marie was still young, unable to afford rent or find a full time job on her own, and she had no idea where to go.
Bianca’s Second Story
Bianca found out she was pregnant shortly after becoming homeless. Bianca thought back to her childhood memories: of getting kicked out of apartments, of staying with different family members, of not having one place to call home for long periods of time. Then she thought of her baby on the way, and the life she was creating for him or her. She decided she wanted something different.
Meghan and Jennifer’s Second Stories (Video)
Meghan got kicked out when she found out she was pregnant. Jennifer's home was filled with fear because of her abusive father. Both of these young women found Second Story at a critical moment in their lives. Now they're free to dream about their futures, about their careers and their hopes to create safe families of their own.
Johnny and Merrill’s Second Story
Johnny and Merrill Chanel are eager to say that Second Story has changed not just their two lives but their entire family.
The Haywards’ Second Story
Summer can be a challenging time for families, with young people home more often childcare can be difficult, and youth have a lot more free time. This past summer was especially challenging for the “Haywards.”
Moira’s Second Story
“Moira” was an amazing student. School was an escape and a motivator for her. Things at home were more complicated, and just after her 18th birthday Moira was kicked out. She wasn't sure she would be able to graduate high school until she found Second Story.
Kendra’s Second Story
After being driven out of her home, solicited in exchange for rent, and left as a single parent, Kendra became homeless. She was out of options until she found Second Story.
Camila’s Second Story
When “Camila’s” teachers recommended that Camila be placed in accelerated classes so that she could learn faster and have more opportunities in school, she was nervous. So, she went to her Safe Youth Project Program Coordinator for advice. The program coordinator, "Anna," was excited to hear the news -- she had noticed how smart Camila was and knew that she would thrive in accelerated classes! Things were difficult at first, though and Camilla got discouraged, so Anna and some volunteers stepped in to help.
Dennis’s Second Story
"Dennis" was 18 when his stepmother kicked him out of the house, but just because he was an adult didn’t mean he felt ready to live on his own. He was still a high school student, and the burden of succeeding in school and earning enough money to pay rent was crushing. Dennis moved in with some friends and soon grew exhausted and overwhelmed. Everything changed when his friend introduced Dennis to Second Story.