This is the last in a series of stories about the 15 nonprofit agencies that receive money from The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking campaign that runs through the holidays.
Aaron Turner was barely 15 and a half years old when he left home, and he remained homeless for about two and a half years.
During that time, he went to Cedar Springs, a mental health center in Colorado Springs. He said he had nowhere to go, and Cedar Springs directed him to Urban Peak.
Turner, now 19, has been living at Urban Peak for about three months.
“It has given me a place to live,” he said, noting his appreciation for that. He said the agency also helped him understand that he can find a job and a better life for himself.
According to its website, Urban Peak helps youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless overcome challenges by providing crucial services and a safe community. The goal is to help young people become self-reliant adults.
Turner is now working to get his GED and find a job. He said it is difficult because he doesn’t have great credentials, but he plans to stay at Urban Peak until he can get his feet under him.
Turner said that Urban Peak is important in the community because there are many young people who have no place to go.
“It’s not easy,” he said. “Without Urban Peak, I would be homeless right now.”