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Chelsea, Denver CO

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Chelsea tragically lost her mother to cancer when she was only 9 months old.

She is a typical teenager. She loves to sing, hang out with her friends, play piano, and listen to country music. But for the last nine months, Chelsea’s life has been less than normal.

“In January, my dad was working for this guy, and he never got paid,” says Chelsea. When the expected checks didn’t come in the mail, Chelsea’s dad Paul began to worry.

“We got an eviction notice,” remembers Chelsea. Paul found an organization that would give them shelter in different churches each week, but they both knew that wasn’t a permanent solution. It was the first time in Chelsea’s life that she didn’t have stability, and she was scared.

The stigma that follows homelessness isn’t exclusive to middle-aged men with substance abuse issues. As a 14-year-old, Chelsea was very aware of what the word “homeless” meant and all the implications that came with it: “I was pretty sad. I didn't want to tell anyone, and felt like I was keeping a secret from everyone,” she says.

Paul explains, “When we became homeless, it was a very lonely moment.

Chelsea recalls when they first came to The Crossing: “I felt like I was far away from everyone. I felt cut off from my friends and family.” But that changed when she discovered all the Denver Broncos Youth Center had to offer: “When I'm in the Youth Room, I feel happy. I feel like these people are nice, and I can have a normal
time as a kid. I feel like my burdens are off when I'm in there.”

She spends most of her time at The Crossing in the Youth Center now. She's taken advantage of all the programs and activities and says she finds herself thriving.

“I think The Crossing and this experience have added to my faith. I don't feel as isolated,” says Paul. “It helped a lot to be able to sit down and talk to people who were in a similar situation. I got that sense of belonging when we came here."

Chelsea’s dad has a goal to be in their own housing by October, just in time for her birthday. Chelsea sighs with a smile, “I’m sure I’m going to miss this place when we leave, but I’m excited to have my own room. We’ll have a new start and a new chance. Life will be normal again.” Chelsea and Paul will be in our prayers as they transition into life away from The Crossing next month!

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