Davrah’s Story: Navigating homelessness and finding salvation as a teenager

Davrah’s Story: Navigating homelessness and finding salvation as a teenager

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Losing one’s home as an adult is a traumatizing, heartbreaking event. But what about when it happens to a child?

Davrah was only 13 when her family lost their home and fell into a months-long nightmare of moving from hotel to hotel, each one progressively worse than the next as money dried up. For Davrah, concentrating at school was nearly impossible, constantly wondering, “Where am I going to sleep tonight?”

They eventually went to a shelter; then Covid hit, and they were stuck. She was miserable, constantly fighting with her parents, asking questions to which no one seemed to have any answers, and crying out for help to a God she didn’t understand.

Below is a transcript of the video edited for readability.

Davrah: At the beginning of 2020, my father suffered a back injury, leaving him unable to work. It was very sudden.

Me and my family no longer had a place to live. Every three nights, we would move from hotel to hotel. I remember, I would be in my math class, and I just couldn’t do any of the work.

I was like, “Where am I going to sleep tonight?” “Where are we going to go to next?” “When I get in the car, what’s going to happen?”

I know, like, three months doesn’t sound like a long time, but it felt like an eternity. I felt a lot of despair. I couldn’t understand why this was happening. I felt unsafe a lot, it was very unpredictable.

So I put a lot of my anger towards God.

It eventually got to the point where my family didn’t have enough money, so the places that we stayed at got a little bit more dingy and unsafe, until eventually it was either, “We need to go to the shelter right now, or we’re going to have to sleep in the car.”

It was all of our belongings, a dog, me and my sister, all in the backseat, very cramped.

We went to the Lambuth Salvation Army Center. The room was incredibly small. I felt like I didn’t have any space.

I, like, fought with my parents a lot. It was just a hard time for our relationship.

March 13, 2020, almost everything shut down because of COVID. I was in a very dark place mentally. I was looking for stability and safety, and I just remember crying out to God.

I had so many questions, and I felt like I didn’t know how to find the answers.

We were in the shelter for about three months. I spent my 14th birthday there. I spent the rest of my 8th grade year in that shelter.

After that, my parents were like, “We’re gonna go visit a friend.” And then they drove to the house, me and my sister, we were like, “What is this place?”

The windows were open, so you could see, like, nothing was inside. They were like, “This is our new house.”

And it was really cool. They opened it for us, and we got to, like, run around. It was a feeling of relief. It was the first time I had my own space, my own bedroom for, like, seven, eight years.

And I think that’s when we started attending the Corps regularly because it’s only, like, 15 minutes away. I was still angry, but it was like I constantly felt His presence.

When I started coming here, because everyone was just so nice and friendly, I felt comfortable enough to ask questions, and get a response that was honest and true. I felt like I could trust the people here.

That was the turning point. I asked more and more questions until I finally just was like, “Okay, I believe in Jesus.” “I believe in God.” “He died for me,” and I turned to scripture.

I feel like once I fully put my faith and trust within God, my life, in a way, became so much easier. He has a plan. 

I’m getting to know my parents more and more every day, rebuilding, like, a relationship with them that I really didn’t have during my early teen years. And we get along a lot better now. My mom, she’s secretly, like, really funny.

I’m about to graduate. I’m gonna go to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, for nursing. But beforehand, I’m gonna go to High Peak Camp to work over the summer.

I hope that the girls I get as campers ask questions like I did, and I hope that God gives me the wisdom that I can answer them in a way that helps them understand and leads them to Christ as well.

I’m incredibly thankful for God and where He placed The Salvation Army, how the Centennial Corps was right here, and how I found salvation.

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