Far too often, the young people at Mercy Home have been forced to grow up too quickly. They have taken on adult burdens—burdens that affect their ability to do well in school or prepare for successful futures. This happened to Jeremy.
Jeremy didn’t like telling other people about where he lived. And he never invited friends over. He didn’t want anyone to find out that he shared a tiny, one-bedroom apartment with his parents, older sister, and her son. The apartment was old, and it often didn’t have power or running water because his parents couldn’t afford to pay the bills. And his dad was rarely sober—and rarely left the couch.
In addition to being embarrassed about his home life, Jeremy also carried the tremendous burden of trying to care for his family. His mom worked several jobs and wasn’t home enough to clean the house or cook meals. If Jeremy didn’t grocery shop, there would be no food in the apartment. And sometimes his sister would stay out all night with her friends, leaving Jeremy to care for her son.
With so many responsibilities, Jeremy didn’t have time for things that other boys his age did, such as doing homework or spending time with friends. He didn’t get good grades because there was no time for homework. Sometimes he was so tired at school that he would fall asleep in class. His teachers quickly wrote him off as a bad student, someone who wasn’t interested in learning.