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Our participants are dealing with single parenthood (typically), poverty, unstable housing, and possibly, mental health issues, including high levels of stress, situational depression, and anxiety. These young women are in survival mode and have gone through very traumatic, stressful situations and emotionally they are missing something essential.

Most of our participants come to us from unstable, unsafe environments, which may include:

- domestic violence with partner or teen dating violence/abusive relationships
- overcrowded living conditions (for example: a two bedroom apartment with 12 residents)
- gang violence
- substance abuse by family/extended family
- physical/sexual abuse
- unsanitary conditions
- having “couch-surfed” their limits
- deceased or incarcerated parents
- adoptive mother/foster parents no longer want them
- history of family homelessness

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