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#Moretomystory: Abused teen gets dramatic makeover

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - When you see someone homeless on the street, who do you see? The stigma surrounding homelessness leaves people believing it's a choice stemming from drug or alcohol abuse. Although that may be the case for some-it's far from the truth for most. For every person living on the streets, there's more to the story. This is one of them...

DaShawn was adopted at the age of 5. He was abused. He became homeless. Here's his story...

“I was adopted at 5 because my mom was addicted. My adopted parents abused me. If I accidentally peed my pants they would try to drown me. When I got older, I excelled in sports but no one from my family came to watch me. One day after a track meet I had to run 7 miles to get home. Later, I kept running away, trying hard to find my purpose. Being home I felt unwanted. After a while of living the street life: getting drunk and high all the time, I got addicted. If I didn’t do these things every day I felt unnormal. I did 2 months in jail for retail fraud that caught up with me. After that, things got worse. I started thinking ‘what if I wasn’t here, would anybody miss me?’ I ended up in @pinerestgr for 3 weeks and then they recommended that I come to @meltrottermin the youth emergency shelter where I met Regina my advocate. Regina, my friends and my goals are what keep me going every day. Having a curfew helps and keeps me out of trouble. I have priorities now and important adult responsibilities that are making me grow as a person. I want to be a mechanical engineer and/or a model. To the people who make these opportunities, I would like to especially thank you!! Without your help & dedication I don’t know where I would be. You see the best in me & I really appreciate it. The thing is, I’ve been threw away more than I mentioned, but I’m not using it as a defense mechanism. I’m using it as a reason to get up and get get to work every day. If you’ve been through or are still going through a lot... fight! Never lose faith! There’s more to my story.” -Dashawn #MTMS

*Abbey Sladick/MTM Instagram

Thank you to community businesses who helped to make this story possible; Charity Christine Salon, Adrian Butler of everything AB Clothing and Zach Phillips Photography.


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