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,” she adds. In addition to finding safe refuge, Raiesa found caring 24-7 support that helped set her on a new and hopeful path. After hearing her sing at 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.”

Hear more of Raiesa’s story in her words here:

To listen to Raiesa’s music click here: