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Girls in 360 Youth Services transitional housing program including Arielle, center, and Cheyenne, left, laugh with Case Manager Rachel Page during a lifeskills group at their home in Lisle on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. The program lost it’s state funding and has started “Dollars for Daughters,” to raise $125,00 to keep the program running.

The streets can be mean. It’s no place for a young girl to sleep.

Julia, who just turned 20, knows that. Less than two years ago, she was living with her adoptive parents and three older brothers in a comfortable home in Elgin. Her teenage years had been rocky, clouded by a deep depression that led Julia to injure herself and develop eating disorders. Born with fetal alcohol syndrome, she thinks the history of drug abuse in her biological parents triggered her lifelong struggle with mental illness.

The parents who raised her thought tough love was the remedy.

“I was in and out of hospitals,” Julia said. “My parents, I guess, thought it would be a sink-or-swim thing: ‘We’re going to put you out on the street.’”

She swam, but it was often against a powerful current. For months Julia was in and out of homeless shelters, punctuating those stays with stints sleeping on friends’ couches. Her sense of hope — often a crucial lifeline for people with serious depression — was sinking.

She’d heard of a program based in Naperville that gives homeless young women a chance to regain their footing, with apartments and job support and guidance to get them back in school. She even had a chance to sign up at one point, not long after she was put out on the street.

Read more

So I was on the front page of the newspaper today.

My roommate got the feature, so read more about her and the program! There is also a quote from me in there.

But to get to the point, I found out a couple months ago that my program that I live in lost a grant and that we’re hurting for money. The other girls who live in the program and I need this program badly. We had to stop taking in new girls who are homeless because of the funding cut, and that’s horrible. Homeless girls who need help aren’t getting it.

Right now we’re doing a fund-raising effort to try to earn money to keep us going until we hopefully get more funding.

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Logo I did for the fundraising effort

Here is a website you can go to that has a video that myself and other girls in the program did, and more information about the situation and how you can help us out. Any amount helps.

I’m not one to ask for donations, even when I was trying to leave my moms house I didn’t ask for donations. But this is beyond me, it involves other girls lives and future girls who need this program as much as the current group and previous girls have needed it. If you could at least re-blog it, submit it to blogs, whatever, I would be grateful.

Thank you for reading.

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    I have no money right now since I’m not able to work while I’m living in Israel but this is a good cause, so here’s a...
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