Number Of Homeless, Troubled Youth Seeking Services Doubles | New Orleans | WWLTV Eyewitness News
In a chapel on the outskirts of the French Quarter, Joshua Taylor, 17, poured his heart into an out-of-tune piano Sunday.
It’s a refuge that helps him remember the past and look toward the future.
“I want to become a concert pianist and maybe a composer if God allows,” said Taylor, whose late mother played piano when he was very young.
Taylor has been homeless since April. His mother died in a car crash when he was two; he’s never known his father. The New Orleans native bounced around from family member to family member, until the situation became so unbearable, his piano teacher brought him to Covenant House.
It’s a center aimed at helping homeless and troubled youth, ages 16 to 21, get back on their feet. Among its services, the center provides food, housing, and job counseling.
“Just having a place to come, not to be around bad people, that’s what Covenant House has done for me,” said Taylor, who works five days a week and will begin his junior year at a New Orleans charter school in August.
Jim Kelly, the center’s founder and executive director, said Taylor’s story is becoming increasingly common. More than 80 percent of youth the Covenant House serves are first-time clients. 75 percent are from the Greater New Orleans area. It’s a stark contrast to the pre-Katrina environment.