LETHBRIDGE – Cassidy Dodd didn’t have a typical childhood. Before she was born, her father abandoned her.
“He told my mom it was either I go, or he goes. My mom kept me, so he left,” she said.
The 19-year-old’s troubles continued as she was bullied throughout her teens. The abuse was so bad, she attempted to end her life twice.
“No one realized that all these little things helped build up to that,” Dodd explained. “I was told, ‘you are just craving attention, this is how you are,’ so I believed that, I believed I just wanted attention.”
But since confiding in staff at Streets Alive Mission, she’s confident her life is moving forward.
“If it wasn’t for Streets, I wouldn’t be here,” she said.
One of her youth leaders saw the distress she was in, and contacted police. The leader made her go to the hospital to get help.
Founder Ken Kissick has known Dodd since she started visiting Streets Alive when she was seven years old. He said he is proud of how she’s completely turned her life around.
“All we have done is love Cassidy through until she could get a hold of things in her life, and it is just exciting to see where she’s going,” he added.
“She’s an example of what we do with youth, or what we do can do with everyone. It’s just about getting them to get a hold and understand they’re not alone, they’re loved and they can succeed.”
Dodd graduated high school in 2014 and is starting college in the fall to become a youth minister.
“I’m so excited to go out and let people know that actually someone does care and they’re not alone,” she said.