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Abused, Adopted and Abandoned Again, Foster Child Finds His Way

Posted on January 12, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Read Charles Louis’ Story Here and in The New York Times

Charles Louis, now 24, says he is just starting to cut through confusion caused by abuse he faced as a young child, abandonment into foster care and grief when first his biological father and then his foster father died one year apart.

Mr. Louis entered foster care at 9, after what he described as unsteady early years punctuated by the family’s stay in a homeless shelter, writes New York Times reporter Emily Palmer in this New York Times Neediest Case published January 10, 2018. 

His father drank vodka when he could afford it and Listerine when he could not. When he drank, he became “a fire-breathing monster,” his son recalled.

Charles’ father was imprisoned, Charles says, after a bystander reported witnessing the father abusing Charles’ baby sister.  Then, after his father was released from prison, his mother took his father back in despite an order of protection (for the children) against the father.

So when Charles was 9 years old, he, his disabled sister and their two younger brothers were placed in foster care.  What followed, he said, was a confusing diet imposed on him by his foster family and prescribed to him by doctors of psychotropic drugs, anger and abandonment.

Charles wound up sleeping in an S.U.V. and air mattresses at churches.

Finally last April, he found his way to Create Young Adult Residences in Harlem, a homeless shelter for young men affiliated with Catholic Charities NY. 

The staff at Create helped Mr. Louis enroll in security guard training, and he was soon hired full `time, earning $11 an hour on weekdays as a security guard at a corporate office building in Manhattan and working a separate security job on weekends,” reports Ms. Palmer. In September, he moved to Paterson (NJ) taking an apartment in a gray wooden house.

“It feels awesome and good to finally have my own home,” he says as he pets his own adoptee, a Siberian Huskey he named Spirit.  “Peaceful, just me and my dog.”

Read Charles Louis’ full Neediest Cases profile in the New York Times

No one should have to live on the street. Catholic Charities helps the homeless find shelter.We provide assistance to parish and other community organizations that offer temporary shelter. Some can be reached through a central registry.  Others can be contacted directly.

Find a Catholic Charities agency that offers emergency shelter.

 

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