Shannon was one of our earliest participants at Homestead, before our screen team had learned from valuable experience. Shannon was sent to us by a judge in Kentucky. She was barely sober from meth. Shannon had long, dark blonde hair and a beautiful innocent face. She had lived with her elderly impoverished grandfather or out on the streets for much of her young life.
Shannon was needy, desperate to be loved. She was childlike herself, laughing and asking for hugs and soaking up attention. She loved the donations given to homestead, the cosmetics, clothes, and shoes. One day Shannon put on platform shoes and ran, ran down the cement steps and fell, laughing at the top of her lungs. Another day she dyed her hair blue in the middle of participating in support group.
Shannon didn’t stay very long at Homestead. She’d had a suicide attempt while with us and was sent for a short visit to the state hospital then back to Homestead heavily medicated. She couldn’t manage her emotions and would fly off into rages. She and another young woman, also not ready for the program, argued constantly. One day they fought physically in the back seat of the car. Sandy, the current house manager, stomped on the brakes and told them to get out of the car. They fought on the curb until the police came and threatened to arrest them all, including Sandy.
We had no other option than to send Shannon back to her grandpa in Kentucky. She kept in touch with some of us, volunteers and mentors and Deb, on and off for about a year. Once she messaged on facebook that her pimp had taken her to another state and she was in a shelter. We helped her get the bus back to her grandpa.
I’ll never forget the call I got from Deb while at work telling me that Shannon had died. Shannon had overdosed on heroin. I cried but I felt peace knowing that she was with her Heavenly Father. God must have thought she couldn’t do it, couldn’t experience any more pain here on earth. He took her home.