Stories

After Years on the Streets, Sarah Reunites with Family and Returns Home to Arizona

Sarah

MEET SARAH

Sarah is a 30-year-old Arizona native and mother of one. Growing up in Phoenix was not easy for Sarah. Experiencing much turmoil at a very young age led to Sarah dropping out of school in the 5th grade. The constant presence of negative influences and the repetitive nature of life in her environment made it difficult for Sarah to be positive about the future. 

SARAH’S JOURNEY

In 2020 during the pandemic, Sarah made a drastic change in her life and decided to hitchhike her way to California. Not knowing anyone or having any new contacts in her new state, Sarah was prepared to live life on the streets. Over the next three years, Sarah would have stints in Bakersfield, Riverside, Orange County, and finally in Los Angeles. “I saw a lot of things on the street I wish I never saw,” Sarah recalled. “I was almost raped and faced a lot of violence.” It was difficult for Sarah to cope with the traumatic events she witnessed and experienced in the streets. She would often turn to drugs to numb the pain. Yet, Sarah knew that there was more to life than what the street could offer. On many different occasions, Sarah wanted to return home. But without any resources or any contact with her family at home, Sarah was stranded.

HOW HARBOR HELPED SARAH

Amidst the summer heatwave, Sarah was admitted to the Hospital due to severe dehydration. Needing extra care for a full recovery, Sarah was referred to Harbor Care. The level of care Sarah received from Harbor was more than she expected and just what she needed to make a full recovery. Yet, it was in conversation with her Case Managers Jose, and Veronica that Sarah realized a family reunion was possible. After all her medical appointments had been fulfilled, and after a joyful and emotional phone call with her mother, the Harbor Case Management team booked a ticket for Sarah to go home to Phoenix. “Even though my stay at Harbor was really short, I could tell that everyone really cared for me,” said Sarah. As she prepared to step onto her bus headed for Phoenix, filled with excitement and nerves, she remembered being nervous going to Harbor. But now she realized it was a great decision. “If anyone is unsure about going to Harbor, I would tell them to give it a chance. They really do care for people like me, and I’m glad I went there,” says Sarah with a grateful smile.

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