Provided by Dawn Armstrong
Dawn Armstrong

One year ago this week, the Deseret News featured Dawn Armstrong’s blog post about her experience with homelessness.

Armstrong wrote about being a 16-year-old who, tired of living in an abusive home, decided to escape. While begging on the streets and crashing on friends' couches, she became pregnant and wasn't legally able to work to support herself.

“You can have a baby at 16, but you can’t sign a lease," Armstrong wrote. "You can’t buy a car. You can’t turn on your utilities. You can get welfare, but technically I made too much money."

Later, pregnant with her second child at 17 years old, Armstrong decided to go to a homeless shelter for her children’s sake.

“We were all ashamed to be there," she wrote. "Deep shame. The kind that makes your soul quake."

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Now, years after she overcame homelessness, Armstrong describes her life as "beautiful." She spends her time volunteering in local and global communities, and is happily married with eight children, whom she teaches to serve others in need.

Armstrong wrote about what helped her to move on after her rocky teenage years.

“People’s willingness to see my potential — rather than my circumstances — gave me a chance to move on and to do beautiful things,” she wrote. “I outworked everyone, because I wanted a good life.”

Read Dawn Armstrong’s full story at Deseret News.