• “There isn’t a sober person in the family.” We have the same mother. Haven’t seen dad since I was three, when he died drinking. I’m in here for drugs, pills, weed, and some harder stuff. I’ve been at this facility for 11 months. I went through the Drugs and Alcohol Program, but I got drunk the same day I finished. —T.P., age 17 I’m in the 9th grade, I flunked out of my first […] September 19, 2016
  • “I don’t have a dad. He’s locked up.” I like to swim a lot, but they only give us 3 minutes to shower. I’m 15 now. I was 13 when I first came here. I live with my mom and grandmother. Not my stepdad. He split with my mom—she kicked him out because he was doing drugs and giving me drugs. Just bud […] July 6, 2016
  • “She told me today that she’s pregnant.” I live near the city college I live with my mom, two sisters, a newborn, and my stepdad. I have an older brother, but he’s out of the house. My stepdad’s a chef. And my mom works at a bakery. I was taken away by social workers. My mom told them that I hit her, but […] May 4, 2016
  • “I’m not allowed to see my biological mom, but I know her telephone number by heart.” The first time I was in the system, I was 14. I’ve been here twice. Now I’m here on violation of parole. I was fighting in school. They had me for assault with a deadly weapon. I hit a girl with a hammer. The hammer was in a utility closet. The girl tried to jump me. […] April 27, 2016
  • “Six different people raped me.” First time I was here I was 14. This time I’ve been here for two months. I went AWOL from placement. When I was upset with my mom, I used drugs. I regret that. I live with my mom, my 14-year-old sister, my nine-year-old brother, and my stepdad. He’s protecting my family while I’m in […] January 14, 2015
  • “My life is all over the place . . .” This is my second time here. The first time I was here I was 16. But that’s the normal life in a bad neighborhood. I been to foster homes, group homes, shelters, placements, everything that probation and DCFS has had, I’ve been through it. I was six years old when my mom and dad divorced. […] October 29, 2014
  • “This wasn’t my first choice, this life.” This is my first time here. I’ve been here six weeks. Actually this isn’t my first time here. I was here when my mom was pregnant with me. So maybe I was here 16 years ago. I went to foster care, and then I got back in touch with her some months before I got […] October 15, 2014
  • “It’s all around me, that’s all I see.” I’ve been here three weeks. This is my third time here. First time I was here I was 14. I was 11 when I started using meth. My mom’s an alcoholic; my uncle and my dad are addicts. It’s all around me; that’s all I see. I live in the valley in North Hollywood. I […] October 8, 2014
  • Who am I? “I’ve been in and out of halls. I keep on finding myself in here. Now it’s been three or four times. I started hitting the pookie (meth pipe) when I was 13, in middle school. I started stealing from my parents and whatever just to get meth. I only attended NA on an outpatient basis. […] June 25, 2014
  • I was on probation, but I got rehooked. “I’ve been here five months. First time I was here I was 15. First time I was picked up I was 14. I was placed in Phoenix, which is rehab over at Lakeview Terrace. I was there for 10 months. It’s boys and girls. I passed my GED, and then I stayed clean for about […] June 11, 2014
  • My family is my program. “My mom said I was her gift from heaven. I’ve lived in programs. I’ve been here before.  This time I’m here for a year and I’ll probably be here a couple more years.  I think I been here three or four times.  The first time at 15.  I come from McMinville, a small town south […] April 23, 2014
  • They’re all tweakers. “First time, been here 3.5 months. I had drugs at school and was a runaway. I was caught twice with drugs at school. First time was meth and the second time was weed. I was suspended for five days. My mom visits twice a week. She lives in South-East Portland. I live with my brother […] March 19, 2014