Stories From Sedona's Homeless Children

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“We’ve lived in a mini-van for two and a half years. Some of my family, mostly my mom, sleep in a tent. My dad has a job, but it doesn’t pay much and because we move around a lot, he doesn’t live with us so we don’t see him every day. I go to the Junior High and my two siblings are at West Sedona Elementary. Sometimes we take a shower at the school, but it’s kind of embarrassing. We have some other friends that are homeless and they’re really nice to us, but last winter, especially when it snowed, we all got really cold.”

Artwork by Sedona Red Rock Junior High 7th and 8th graders

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Artwork by Sedona Red Rock Junior High 7th and 8th graders

“My Mom used to work for a family in Camp Verde that had a big place, and she did all of their landscaping, and we got to live with them. They decided to sell their house and the new owners didn’t want us to stay. She looked for a new place for us but couldn’t find anything we could afford. She decided to talk to my aunt who lives in the Village of Oak Creek to see if we could stay with her. My Dad is my aunt’s brother, but he’s not around. My aunt said my little brother and I could stay with her, but she doesn’t like my Mom so she can’t stay. My Mom has to sleep in her car and works landscaping jobs during the day. She picks us up at my aunt’s every morning and takes us to the bus stop. In the afternoon, she meets us at the bus stop and sometimes takes us to Wendy’s or the park so we can do our homework. On the weekends we get to “camp” with Mom. She says it’s like an adventure, but I hate it when she has to leave.”

“My Mom finally escaped an abusive relationship and took us to a safe place. We stayed at the Verde Valley Sanctuary for as long as they could let us. They set us up in some temporary house which was a great help, but after their financial help ended we couldn’t find a place to rent that we could afford, so now my two siblings and I live with our Mom in our car. Mom gets us to school every day at West Sedona Elementary even though that’s hard sometimes.”

Artwork by Sedona Red Rock Junior High 7th and 8th graders