Growing Up Too Fast

Kalia and MelanieSmThe girls I met at the Springfield Family Residence seem to be growing up too fast.  Melanie, age 19 is 6 months pregnant with a 9-month-old son. She told me “It’s difficult because you don’t live with your family members.  I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me and my son.” She is thankful for the things she has and the support of those around her.  In the picture on the right, Melanie (right) and her roommate Kalia (left) work on their pieces.  Kalia told me that she feels like she’s “making the transition from child to adult” as she, also pregnant and on her own, works to find a place of her own.

Melanie's Piece
Melanie’s piece (right) is a picture of her current bed here alone with a dream bubble of life relaxing in a hammock in Puerto Rico where most of her family lives.

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Hallie,14 (right), lives in the shelter with her mother. She said the shelter is “cramped, cluttered, and boring.  I’m annoyed and feel like no one understands me.  When I came here my mother wouldn’t let me talk to no one.  (There was) no one to talk to, no one to understand.  Just all alone.  By myself.” In her piece (below), the light glittery core is her true self that’s covered with layers of darkness sitting under a black sun.

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Todiah, 14 has been living in the shelter with her mother for one week.  She has mixed feelings about living there and her piece (below) shows that.  The green represents her life before which was “ok, but not great” with some good times (yellow).  Then it got bad (represented by the black) which turned into a mix of ups and downs (colored dots).  But she believes that it will be good again, represented by the yellow in the top right corner.

TodaiahSm

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