Sanaa Darif moved to the United States from Morocco after her parents died. She stayed with her older sister upon arriving in the US but soon found herself living on the streets after her sister kicked her out. Sanaa was just 16 years old.
Over the next several months, Ms. Darif did what many newly homeless do: move from sofa to sofa searching for a place to sleep. In early 2011, the Arlington Department of Human Services (DHS) referred her to A-SPAN. She states, “A-SPAN is the best thing I’ve ever experienced.” With the help of her case manager, she got a job at a local fitness center. And on June 3, 2011, Ms. Darif signed a lease and moved into her own apartment.
Now 19, Ms. Darif is currently enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College and plans to transfer to George Mason soon. “I love my life right now. I was never open to people, but now I am.”