Sarah Ford | June 12, 2012

After Wishing For Death, Former Foster Youth Finds New Life

Originally Posted by Children’s Rights / 04 Jun 2012

Lerone Matthis was living life on the streets as another one of California’s homeless former foster youth. However, some unexpected opportunities and Matthis’ own courage have turned his life around. Care2 shares his story:

Matthis grew up in Richmond and entered the foster care system when he was a teen. He was moved from group home to group home in the three years he was in foster care.

“I was never comfortable with them. It was hard to tell other people how you are feeling alone, lost, separated…” Matthis said.

There was a time, he says, when he wondered if he would make it past 25, or if he would spend his life in prison. “Many of my friends were dying. The dangers of being shot plagued my everyday life,” he recalled. “Sometimes I begged for the ending of my existence.”

Matthis went through California’s Division of Juvenile Justice and, after his last stint in that system, feared his life had hit rock bottom. He was homeless and had to rely on friends and relatives for food and shelter. He remembers going a month wearing the same unwashed clothes and going to sleep hungry when he had no one to help him..

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