My name is Leanaly and my son’s name is Jadiel.

From the start of his life, we both went through dark times. There were many nights that we didn’t have a place to go. My son and I were forced to start couch surfing at different homes, always going from one place to another.

This statue represents all of that and so much more for me. It’s the beginning of my harsh journey through homelessness. The first nights I spent outside were beside it, and it also was the place I would go to when I had nowhere else. It was the place I considered home. He would watch over me through the cold nights and keep me company. He was the only one that I could talk to even if he wouldn’t talk back. Even though other people judged me and saw me as a bad mother, he never did. He was the one stable person in my life. The person who, no matter what, would still be standing there waiting to see me again. He was more of a father figure than any other man in my life. The statue gives me peace, hope, and represents the progress I’ve made through the years. Now my son is the person who provides all of that to me.

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