It’s been a year of firsts for Amanda – her first apartment; first Christmas tree; first time meeting royalty. Four years ago, she never would have dreamed of such a year – not until she found The Door.

Getting pregnant at 17, Amanda dropped out of high school. Life at home with her mother was a constant battle and she moved out not long after. Pregnant and with nowhere to go, Amanda slept at friends’ apartments, in hallways or stairwells, or on the street. She finally made it into a longer-term shelter once she gave birth, but life remained a struggle – until she heard about The Door’s new supportive housing building, which includes 12 apartments designed for young parents. Amanda still remembers her daughter’s reaction when she first saw the apartment. “I told her, ‘this is yours,’ and she was so happy; she said, ‘it’s so big!’”

Today Amanda is working with The Door on getting her GED and she takes advantage of our partner University Settlement’s affordable preschool program for her daughter. She plans to go to college to pursue nursing or social work. And she recently got to swap stories of motherhood with someone very special – the Duchess of Cambridge, during the royal couple’s visit to The Door.

With a stable roof over her head she can finally see brightness in her future. “My life has just started…this is only the beginning, and I don’t plan on stopping – ever.”

There are approximately 3,800 homeless youth in New York City on any given night, however only 6% can secure housing with the current number of designated apartments for youth. With two supportive housing buildings, The Door is one of NYC’s leading providers of permanent housing for youth who have been homeless or in foster care.