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Teenage Resilience: Rafa's Story

Rafa, a 15-year-old high school student, is Caring Coalition’s newest client. His mother and father died suddenly, of natural causes, within two weeks of each other. Both were in their late 30’s.

What could have caused this?

Poverty increases the risk of poor health and early death.

Lack of good nutrition, affordable healthcare, and reliable transportation were contributing factors in this case.

Rafa found that he was completely alone. He turned to his only local relative, Eddie, a 26-year-old cousin with no permanent home. They move from one household to another, staying with families who are willing to take them in temporarily, usually for a week or two.

Rafa sought support from the social worker at his school. She has connected him with valuable local resources and assistance for the many challenges he is facing. She also told us about his situation.

Caring Coalition is now providing food weekly for Rafa and Eddie. The types of food and the method of delivery are tailored to fit their unique situation. The food provided weekly contributes to the households that take them in, boosting their confidence and extending their stays.


He and his cousin have found housing in an apartment complex that requires weekly payments until a sort of credit is established. Rafa’s cousin has been able to find work on a semi-regular basis, and he's now eligible for monthly rent payments on their home.

Rafa is looking forward to his birthday in July when he will be eligible to start collecting SSI. He visits his school social worker’s office weekly to pick up a box of food provided by Caring Coalition and to chat about life.

Rafa and the social worker take time to go through the box together, and the social worker helps him to come up with a menu plan for the week.

Thank you for providing good nutrition for Rafa and other kids like him through your support!

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