Ruth recently joined our Emergency Housing Program. She connected with AFC over the holidays of this past year. She was 19, living on the streets, resorting to sex work to survive and struggling with mental health issues. The trauma of being homeless and not having a family to turn to weighed on her. She felt lonely not having anyone, but she found comfort in other homeless youth, which is how she ended up at AFC. She has been consistent about her care with our mental health professionals, receiving the love and care she deserves.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic reached New York City, Ruth began struggling with anxiety again and having feelings of hopelessness. Last week, after two weeks of practicing social distancing, Ruth had a panic attack. Living in fear of COVID-19, being isolated, and struggling with the loss of income has retraumatized her. She feels lonely and wishes she had a family who will accept her. Ruth, like many young people in our care, is concerned about COVID-19 and her future.
Fortunately, Ruth is not alone. She has been able to connect with staff at her emergency housing shelter and with her therapist, who is helping her work through anxiety and reinforcing that although she may feel isolated and lonely during this time, she is not alone. She has increased her weekly therapy sessions and is managing her anxiety.