Teen girls without a place to stay find support with boyfriends’ families


Maria Castillo

Seniors Mariele Jones and Marcelo Sarcos contribute to their home by cleaning, washing dishes, and helping around. They figure that if they split the work they could have more free time to do other things such as watching movies or playing video games.

One of the most impactful moments in the life of a young person is when they finally leave the nest. Although some fly away sooner than others, seniors Mariele Jones and D’anna Gallon have both pushed themselves to grow up sooner than others.

Mariele Jones moved in with her boyfriend last July. Before she was living with her boyfriend, she wasn’t living with her parents but living with her grandmother.

“My dad passed away and my mom’s in school so she’s trying to work on herself as well.” Jones is the first generation of her mom’s side of the family to have grown up in America, so her mom being born in the Philippines and not understanding American culture, her grandmother took her in until she was too old for Jones to live with her anymore.

“Since I don’t have my mom and dad around telling me to get up in the morning to get ready, I have to do that on my own. One thing my mom taught me was how to be independent and I appreciate that.”

Without living with her parents Jones has adapted to taking care of herself, and living with her boyfriend has allowed her to gain help so that she could focus on school, sports, and work.
Gallon moved in with her boyfriend in August. “I met my boyfriend sophomore year during football season, I was the watergirl for Stagg so I was always out there. We became close friends and after a bit we started dating.” Thanks to that bond her boyfriend and his family decided to take her in during her time of need.

“I don’t live with my actual parents. I had guardians and we had gotten into a really bad argument, and things weren’t going very well at the home anyways, so they pretty much asked me to leave.”
Although being pushed out by her guardians when she was 16, an illegal act given that she was a minor at the time, Gallon had managed to find strength and happiness in her life.

“The strength that I have comes from my past. My mom was a really bad drug addict so I had to grow up sooner when I was younger and had to do things much faster, so I would just remind myself that it could always be worse.”

Gallon had been surrounded by drug use, her mother being an addict, and her siblings smoking weed, but instead of falling into pattern she used those experiences to instruct her who she did not want to become.

Moving in with her boyfriend had made such a positive impact in Gallon’s life.

“I’ll help pay, for example, if we need new towels, new washcloths, laundry detergent, and soap for the kitchen; or if we want this for dinner or if I want something I’ll pitch in.”

Gallon said she is blessed to be in the situation she has found herself in. “It’s not their responsibility to take care of me but even though she is I am thankful for it and I try to help out as much as I can.”