“I moved to Denver in the spring of 2010 due to severe mental health issues. When I came here I was refusing to admit there was a God. A few months before I was told I had rejected my faith and I hit my breaking point about God. Mind you, I was raised in a church all my life. I had become homeless and was cutting myself everyday.
After being kicked out of a mental health center, I gave up on everything. In the summer of 2011 a lot of things wound up happening to me, I got my first place and I found a place called 5280. I was tricked into going because of my anger towards God, however, it was the best thing that happened to me.
I got baptized in August of that year and started to reconnect with God. As the years progressed I have been homeless most of the time until winter of 2015. I have also become more involved in the Church. Due to me being mentored and coming closer to God, I am stabilized mentally and spiritually. With the help of 5280, I have gone on a mission trip to Arizona, have worked in the Church and now am teaching a bible study on Friday nights.
If you would have asked me a few short years ago where I would be today, I would have said nowhere, odds are dead, I never thought I would be at this point in my life. Thanks to 5280 and God working in me, I am alive and well. God works in mysterious and wonderful ways.”
Katrishay Quarles (Shay) lost her life on the streets of Denver. Shay was a bright light that encouraged other teens, even though the struggles in her own life seemed insurmountable to her at times. 5280 exists for youth like Shay: those who come from backgrounds that have impacted them in such a manner they see no hope for a better future, let alone help for their current circumstances. These are the teens and young adults we care for: with love and kindness. One of our most important goals is to give these kids a reality of knowing they are here on purpose and that their lives matter, regardless. We strive to give each youth of Denver that walks through our doors something to hold on to, by developing personal relationships with each one so they may know how very special they truly are. Shay was one who knew she was loved, and one who visited us often. We miss her.