Can you imagine losing your family and closest friends because of your sexual orientation? Neither could Jenna. That is, until it happened to her.

At 15, she told her family she was gay and immediately saw a change in their behavior. Her home life became awkward and her mom, her best friend, began to shun her. Feeling like an outcast, Jenna would self-harm and even attempted suicide. She was lonely and scared, and eventually decided to run away from home.

Jenna’s girlfriend at the time, found our Runaway and Homeless Youth Program online and encouraged her to make an appointment. When she arrived at YES for the intake screening, Jenna immediately felt accepted and welcomed. For her, having a staff that was genuine and supportive of her sexual orientation was invaluable.  

At YES, Jenna knew she was going to be accepted and safe, and most importantly she didn’t feel a need to harm herself. She participated in individual therapy to work through her own struggles of self-acceptance. Beyond that, YES therapists also helped her heal the relationship with her parents through regular family counseling sessions. Eventually, they were able to understand Jenna’s sexuality and she was able to return home to a loving and supportive environment.  

Now 23, she is currently a college student, studying psychology and often returns to YES during summer break to work as a residential counselor.

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