Host Home Parents Help Teen Mom Make a Contribution

Photograph of a young woman and her toddler daughterSixteen-year-old Becca just couldn’t take the stress and conflict of living at home any longer, so she took her two-month-old daughter and left.

But on her own, she needed help. A community agency put her in touch with Promising Futures, a host home program funded by the Family and Youth Services Bureau’s Basic Center Program.

Initially scared about moving in with strangers, Becca found her hosts to be a caring couple, willing to support and encourage her in whatever way they could. Although her host home stay lasted only about two weeks, the connection has endured for more than three years. Becca continues to call her host home parents whenever she needs their input, whether it’s advice about how to cook something or a listening ear and some encouragement.

At one point, long after her stay with them, Becca’s host home parents helped her buy some clothes and other items she needed. When Becca tried to repay them, they insisted instead that she help someone else.

“When you’re 40 years old and you come across a teenager who needs help, you take time to help that teen,” they told her.

Becca didn’t wait till she was 40 to make good on her promise. Less than a year later, she had the means to decorate the house of a neighbor who was struggling and provide Christmas gifts for her child. Becca said that after all the help she had received from Promising Futures, it felt good to be able to help somebody else.

With encouragement from Promising Futures, Becca obtained her GED and started college classes. She is working full-time, has her own apartment, and is successfully supporting herself and her daughter. And she reports that her family relationships have improved, little by little.

Read more about Promising Futures.