As a teen, Raiesa lived in a group home and experienced an abusive situation where she was given drugs and trafficked. “There would be days at a time that I would go missing and no one checked up on me,” she says.
Thankfully, a guidance counsellor at Raiesa’s school stepped in and found her a place at Eva’s. “It changed my life,” says Raiesa. “Before, so many people were trying to take advantage of me. Eva’s was the exact opposite.” Raiesa received 24-7 caring support that set her on a hopeful path. After an open mic night at Eva’s, the staff encouraged Raiesa to pursue her dream of becoming a performer.
Today, Raiesa is living in her own apartment, performing her music three nights a week, and enjoying the stability she always longed for. “If I didn’t go to Eva’s, I wouldn’t be here,” says Raiesa. “I want other young people to know that you can turn your story around. There’s always hope.”