Premature Birth, Mentally Ill Mother – Fifty Foster Homes


Meet Johnathan Norman Hughes, born at 6 1/2 months to a mentally ill mother. DHS – Children’s Protective Services in Michigan removed him from his mother after his sister reported neglect. After living in more than fifty foster homes, he ran away from his last foster home at sixteen years old. He says, not once did the police, his case worker or foster parents come looking for him. “If she (foster parent) reported me, then she wouldn’t get the money no more. She didn’t report me. She got the money and I didn’t want to be there and that’s a fair trade. She got what she wanted and I got what I wanted. She wanted free money without the responsibility and I wanted to be the heck away from this place. We both got what we wanted.”

At seventeen, Johnathan was emancipated from the foster care system. “Until you can learn to live with yourself, you can’t live with nobody else. Especially when you’re young and out there on your own with no support, no family, no motivation.

He’s lived in Covenant Houses in Michigan, New York City, Newark and California. is “100% useful to me. You can be homeless and still have an email. You can be homeless and still have a life. Just because you’re not financially, doesn’t mean you’re not socially, doesn’t mean you’re not mentally, doesn’t meant you’re not physically. I was still breathing, I wanted to meet people, I wanted to socialize and myspace is a way to do that.”

“I believe myspace is valuable to anyone who wants to be realized, anybody who wants to be known, anybody who wants anyone to find them. Myspace is the best way. Myspace is the best way to be found.”

He’ll probably be at Covenant House another two weeks. “I can’t stay. I can’t. I can’t. Cause, it’s like, and if you read about the indigo children, it’s like I’m searching for something. Something big is coming. Like I said, I don’t know how I’d be if I was with my real mother but right now I’m where I want to be.

Interviewed on the streets of Newark during a night of Outreach to the community.

Explore posts in the same categories: STORIES FromHomeless Former Foster Children

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2 Comments on “Premature Birth, Mentally Ill Mother – Fifty Foster Homes”

  1. I have a lot of sympathy for this young man. To be homeless after a life of at least semi-stability or after having a career is one thing. To be homeless after what was almost certainly a traumatic childhood is another. It’s hard to say that one homeless situation is worse than another because they’re all bad, but it does seem that this individual didn’t get much of a fair chance. I hope Jonathan finds the help he needs to succeed. Homelessness isn’t an easy cycle to break, but he does have youth on his side.

  2. holdingontoJesus Says:

    any youth can call for help anytime. 6785269564.

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