Marcus: Marcus is 17 years old, barely keeping up in his junior year of high school, and worries about where he’s going to sleep tonight. He knows if he goes home he’ll have to face his abusive mother. If he goes to his aunt’s house she’ll make him pay to sleep on the couch for the night. And if he goes to his friends they’ll likely get him in trouble. Marcus has nowhere to go, and no one to turn to for help.
Marcus is just like many of the residents at Palmetto Place who faced homelessness, abandonment, or abuse. Here he’ll not only get a warm bed and nutritious meal, he’ll get the support he needs to catch up in school and graduate. We help teens just like Marcus get a drivers license, a first job, and even apply to college. We help teens like Marcus find their path out of poverty, but we know we wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of our community.
Michelle: When Michelle was 5 years old she witnessed her mother’s drug addiction and her father’s abuse. She’s experienced the suffering of having both parents in jail, the loss of a grandparent and the disappointment of being separated from those she’d grown close to. She found a safe haven at Palmetto Place.
Sarah: At a young age Sarah was separated from her biological family and adopted by a family with four children of their own. What should have been her happy ending was shattered when her stepfather got violent. In a desperate attempt to feel connected to someone she found a biological sibling, but her family refused to let her have any sort of relationship with them. Over time the abuse and violence in her house got worse and when her adoptive siblings went to live with grandma, she came to Palmetto Place. For what may be the first time in her life Sarah feels safe and loved, she knows that she’s important and that her life matters. We’re helping her reconnect with her siblings and through counseling, the wounds of her trauma began to heal.
Darius: At 16, Darius spent his days taking care of his mentally ill mother. He’d wake up in the morning and make her breakfast before getting himself ready for school. Some mornings were easier than others, but without a car he couldn’t always get to school on time. He worked extra hard to have good grades because he knew an education was the path to a better life. After school and on weekends he worked a part-time job to help support his family. But when his mother’s disease got worse and she started to have violent fits, Darius wasn’t safe. On a particularly bad day he came to Palmetto Place. For the first time in months he feels safe and knows that his needs come first. Now, he gets to school on time, and is considering options for college. We’ll help him sign up for drivers training and he can save his money to buy a first car
Tayla: Experiencing the death of your mom, entering foster care and moving to a different county, all by the tender age of 7 years old is unimaginable, but Tayla’s resilience keeps her going. Now at palmetto Place, Tayla’s beautiful personality and appreciation for new experiences keeps everyone smiling. Always equipped with fresh ideas, she and other residents baked cupcakes and delivered them to an assisted living facility, as a part of their very own community service project. Tayla said that she knew her mom would be very proud of her for making others happy. Her big heart and eagerness to experience life makes our Palmetto Place family whole.
Paige: Life was going well for Paige, who was adopted at a very young age by proud and loving parents, until an unfortunate incident was initiated by her adoptive brother. Paige, not wanting to split up her family, kept it a secret for as long as she could. But when she had to share the secret she came to live at Palmetto Place where she was provided a safe, loving and nurturing environment. She blossomed into an amazing young woman who enrolled in college, secured a work-study position and moved into an apartment of her own. Despite all of the obstacles Paige endured, she remained positive and focused on her future. This is a testament to the growth and independence Palmetto Place encourages for all of our youth.
Jackson and Peter, 9-year-old and 10-year-old brothers, were living in a home rampant with drugs. They lived with at Palmetto Place almost a year. They made the A/B Honor Roll, participated in after-school activities and played in the school orchestra. Our counselor worked with them to identify things their parents were really good at. One of them said their dad made great oatmeal – what a wonderful memory for these boys to hold onto.
LaTasha is a 16-year-old whose mother passed away and she had no other family member to live with. She came to Palmetto Place the day after her Sweet 16, having had no birthday, no birthday presents, no cake, and no happy birthday wishes. We loved being able to give her a wonderful Sweet 16 birthday party and sang happy birthday to her.