The streets, drugs, and sheer survival were the only things Leigha had ever known. You see, Leigha not only spent her entire life spinning in the cycles of addiction and homelessness, her father did too. Leigha was second generation homeless, and it’s the only “home” or culture she had ever experienced. It’s where her family was, it’s where her friends were, and it’s where her tiny body was shredded by addiction, abuse and starvation.
Night after night Leigha fought to survive. She cared deeply for those around her as she fought for them as well. Leigha would always ask for a little bit of extra food and warm clothing to share with her father who was back at the tent. She was always grateful and she never complained.
What if “Home is Where the Heart is” really is true? Just like for you and me, our hearts are planted where those we love are. I have discovered, for so many of our young people, that even means the streets. And this was true for Leigha her entire life.
Leigha often talked about getting off the streets but the pull to stay was far stronger, as long as her dad was there. Leigha was always a fighter for those she loved, always looking out for everyone else around her and always loyal to her street family, laying her life on the line for them. Two years and eleven months ago, Leigha fought the biggest battle of her life, as she took one courageous step at a time, to get off drugs and, stay off.
Today, this beautiful young woman is celebrating Two Years and Eleven Months clean & sober, and no longer homeless. Leigha has a job she loves, her own apartment and is surrounded by an ever growing new group of family and friends.
Leigha has given me permission to share parts of her story and these photos of her journey in hopes that it will inspire people to know all things are possible with God. The contrast and transformation is radiant, and has led the way for many more of Leigha’s friends to fight the good fight too.
Please join us in praying for Leigha, her father and many more who are simply trying to find “home”.