10 Stories of HOPE: Mia’s Story
March 28th, 2023
Mia recently moved back to the cities after facing persistent homelessness, domestic violence, and a lack of support. These obstacles ultimately led to her becoming a victim of sex trafficking. Mia first came to HOPE 4 Youth last summer. Upon her arrival, she met with a HOPE 4 Youth Case Manager. Immediately, Mia’s goal was to find a safe place to stay for the night and a hot meal. The H4Y Case Manager was able to provide her with a hot meal. When the meal was placed in front of Mia, she burst into tears. When asked why she was crying she responded, “I haven’t eaten anything that hasn’t been from a can in months. It’s been even longer since I shared a meal with someone I have felt safe.” The H4Y Case Manager was able to help her locate a shelter specifically for women who have experienced domestic violence. Mia stayed there for a few weeks. Every day, she either walked or took the bus to meet with her H4Y Case Manager.
Soon after, Mia began to work two jobs and applied for Cosmetology school. She regularly walked or took the bus to a nearby library to complete her remote work. Mia was proud to share with us that she was accepted into Cosmetology school and has been there for a few months now. Not only is she in school, but she is continuing to work both jobs.
Once Mia became more settled into school and work she worked with a H4Y Case Manager to search for apartments. She was able to find an apartment both within her price range and in a safe area. HOPE 4 Youth supported her with this transition by funding her security deposit and first month’s rent. With this, HOPE 4 Youth was fortunate enough to receive a donation of laptops. We were able to provide Mia with one so she no longer has to regularly commute to the library. This helped Mia to focus on her studies and dreams of becoming a cosmetologist.
Mia continued to meet with a H4Y Case Manager until she aged out of the program. She continues to check in with her Case Manager frequently. Mia was able to use the resources her Case Manager provided to find a provider who specializes in those who are sex trafficking survivors. She also began to refer many of her friends and family to HOPE 4 Youth. She stated,
“I want everyone who needs help to have someone like you to get them through the darkness.”
Mia told her Case Manager, “I am so proud of myself and who I have become.” Her Case Manager noted her smile is contagious now. Mia is eager to see what the future holds for her. Mia is experiencing HOPE.