When Liam first walked through the doors of Covenant House at age 16, he was furious. From birth, he had faced almost every possible obstacle to a successful life. He was raised by an adoptive father who was abusive and violent; and an adoptive mother who was addicted to drugs.
At age 14, he dropped out of school and started doing drugs too. At age 15, he began dealing drugs, and was arrested several times. Finally, at age 16, he was brought by police to Covenant House’s Crisis Center where he met his caseworker, Miriam, who believed in him even when he didn’t believe in himself.
Liam would drag himself to the shelter, cold and malnourished, and then just as quickly, leave. This pattern continued for five years. But Miriam persevered and slowly gained his trust. Eventually, Liam received counseling and substance abuse services. He earned a spot in Covenant House’s Transitional Living Program and received job training. He became a kickboxing, poetry slam and chess champion. He started training as a chef at one of Anchorage’s best restaurants. Today, Liam is working towards a college degree and is the proud single father of a 3-year-old son. He is raising his boy with the same values he was taught at Covenant House – unconditional love and respect.
At age 21, with his caseworker’s guidance – and Liam’s hard work and determination – Liam has left the streets forever. He is now an advocate for homeless kids everywhere, and is an inspiration to everyone he meets.
In partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, numerous nonprofits, the school district and the faith community, United Way is working to make homelessness as rare and as brief as possible. It is our mission to keep kids like Liam safe, stable and off the streets. Together we will end homelessness in Anchorage.