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Points Unknown

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Written by an anonymous parent of a youth at Spectrum.

“When you are the adoptive parent of a teen struggling with depression/mood swings/alcoholism/eating disorder, your world is turned upside down. Instead of family Yahtzee games on a Friday night, you end up driving around looking for your daughter who has run away from home yet again. There is no respite from the fear of losing your child to dangerous choices.

Night after night, month after month, for years, her Dad and I tried every intervention including residential stays for her. Whenever she could, she would run away and we would be left in paralyzing fear for weeks on end until she’d call from points unknown and we’d send her a bus ticket home.

Throughout this time, I always prayed that she’d meet caring souls along the way who would literally offer her shelter. These are the angels among us. There was a kind female police officer in Syracuse who bought her a meal, a person in Texas who found her wallet and mailed it back to us, a mechanic in California who gave her a dog to keep her safe, a doctor in Louisiana who called me. And finally, when she came back to Burlington, she went to the Spectrum Shelter for a short time. What a relief to know someone out there cared!

The staff was warm, concerned and offered her just what she needed- a respite and a good dollop of respect. I was impressed then with the work that they did on behalf of at risk teens and my admiration for their work has grown over the years. With so much dysfunction in our toxic world, Spectrum is a voice for the disenfranchised of our teens (of which there are far too many and far too few services for). Thank you Spectrum for being the angels among us!

Epilogue : Our daughter is now in a long term committed relationship raising a beautiful son. She no longer runs from the world but instead has gone back to college and is getting straight A’s!”

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