teenager-417145Teen Thanks Pete's Place

Pete's Place has been one of the biggest inspirations to me. Out of all the people I have stayed with and everyone that has tried to help Pete’s has been and always will be my number one.

My struggle that led me to being on my own and living out of my car could fill a novel, I'll just start from when I became homeless. I was on my own for the first time in life, granted it wasn't ideal but I was trying to make the best of it. I went to a local DHS office and requested everything they could possibly offer me. When I was called back to speak with a friendly older lady she took one look at me and said there was nothing they could do because I was a minor, she then handed me a piece of paper to a homeless shelter.

I wish I could tell you this is the part I stumbled upon that cozy safe-haven called Pete's, but I'd be lying. Being as broke as I was I drove to this other shelter and after waiting outside for three hours a woman finally arrived. She started going through the rules with me and some of the other ladies brought up their policy on children, I quietly raised my hand and told her I was a minor. Once again life knocked me down; she told me I could not stay. Seriously, a church based shelter turned someone down for being under 18. I was gathering my things up to leave and a lady told me about Pete's in Traverse City. I got back in my car and decided to take the biggest risk of my life, drive on five dollars' worth of gas from Petoskey to Traverse City and hope I didn't get turned away again. Well I made it, to a city I've never even visited, and I was so lost. Then one of Pete’s Place's Staff members Tia called me and directed me to the shelter. If it wasn't for her there's no telling where life could have taken me.

When I got to Pete's I was so dumbfounded and strangely happy at the same time. I had to ponder the fact that someone out there could care that much about a stranger they have never met. That's the annotated version of a small piece of my life.

So what does Pete's Place mean to me? Pete's Place simply means home; A place to rest, eat, and feel loved.

Back then I was one of those kids’ people gave up on, one of those kids that wasn't well liked, and for one place to take every doubt I had about trusting people and dismiss them all is absolutely amazing. Every staff member I encountered there took time to get to know me and try to help me, that's what really inspired me. It inspired me to become a better person, to follow my dreams, and be the change I would like to see. The support Pete's gave to me is still to this day unmatched. They pushed me to go back to school and graduate. Not only did I graduate, I graduated ahead of my class with a scholarship to Eastern Michigan University. For that right there I am forever grateful for everything they provided me with and pushed me to do.

Best Regards,

Pete's Place resident September 2012