Imagine you’re a 15-year-old girl. You’re a sophomore in high school, focusing on your schoolwork and basketball tryouts. Life seems pretty normal. Until one day you find out you have nowhere to sleep and you and your family are forced to live on the streets.

This was Tianna’s reality. Her life was just like any other teenage girl until her family was forced out of their apartment by their landlord and left with nowhere to go. Tianna’s mom was recently laid off and unable to pay rent. For about three weeks, Tianna, her mom, her 8-year-old brother and her 18-year-old sister went from motel to motel, trying to find somewhere to live. They found a house, but with no stable income, they continued to live on the streets. During these three weeks, Tianna and her siblings were unable to go to school.

Eventually Tianna’s family found out about UMOM New Day Centers and they were able to get into the shelter. Tianna was finally able to go back to school, but she was dropped from her high school and her credits wouldn’t transfer, so she had to start over at a new school. She started going to UMOM’s Teen Activity Program (TAP), where teens can socialize with other teens, play games, get homework help, get physical and nutritional education, go on field trips and more. Her mom got a job at an assisted living facility and is starting to save up money for a new place to live.

Tianna said it was extremely hard to live on the streets and be out of school. But being at UMOM and TAP has helped her find peace.

“TAP is a place of peace where you don’t have to worry about getting judged,” Tianna said. “You can talk to your new friends and not worry about other problems. The staff has encouraged me and they’re easy to talk to. If you have a problem they’ll always help you solve it.”

Tianna said she wants to go to college and study software engineering and dreams of one day opening more homeless shelters, to help those who are facing similar situations to her family.

When you make a $400 or $800 tax credit donation to the Support Arizona Youth campaign, managed by the Executive Council Charities, 100% of contributions are forwarded to UMOM, AND UMOM can receive a 25% matching grant.

Have you already used your tax credit for 2017? Your donation can still be credited for the 2018 Arizona Charitable Tax Credit.

Your gift can count 25% more to help the children and youth of UMOM live a safe and more stable life. Kids shouldn’t have to worry about where they’ll sleep at night, or if they’ll have to go to bed hungry – they just focus on being a kid.

This opportunity will only last until April 17, so get your donations in today!  Every little bit counts, and will change the lives of our community’s youth.

You can make your donation today or learn more at www.ec70phx.com/umom.