CLEVELAND — The US Marshals are in the business of tracking down fugitives, but they are also tasked with finding endangered children.
“We encounter kids a lot on the street whether we’re apprehending fugitives or if we’re looking for these high-risk endangered kids, “said Deputy U.S. Marshal Erica Strnad.
Sometimes it’s hard, Strnad said to leave what they see on the streets at work.
“These are kids you go home thinking about,” said Strnad.
That’s one reason the U.S. Marshal Service has partnered with Believe in Dreams. It’s a local organization dedicated to making dreams come true for kids who have endured poverty and non-medical trauma.
“We are excited to be partnering with Believe in Dreams and connecting deserving youth in our community with this amazing organization that can change their lives. Our men and women of the NOVFTF (Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force) are 350 strong and are the eyes and ears of the communities we serve. Within this past year, we have recovered over 100 missing children across our district, many of whom face challenges in their futures. With this new partnership between the U.S. Marshals and Believe in Dreams, it will give many youths hope for the future,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott.
“This partnership will ensure nominated youth who’ve been recovered are empowered to reach for their dreams. It will provide them with access and opportunities to explore their interests, build healthy coping skills and heal from their traumas. We are so grateful to be partnering with the U.S. Marshals to support these youth in our community,” said Katie Eichenauer Executive Director Believe in Dreams.
Suhail, 15, is the first child to be nominated by the USMS and the Cleveland Family Center for Missing Children and Adults, an organization founded by Gina DeJesus, to have her dream become a reality. She was missing for eight days.
“She was endangered, she was in a very serious situation, “said Sylvia Colon, Co-Founder of Cleveland Family Center for Missing Children and Adults.
Suhail’s dream is a weekend in Florida with her mother and to become a nurse.
The organization will help make both a reality.
“I had myself in a tiny corner where I thought nobody cared and nobody loved me, but now I know I have so much support,” said Suhail.
“Sometimes they need to hear that someone does care about them,” said DeJesus.
“We’re really excited for her because she is a different person than the one, I first met,” said Cleveland Family Center for Missing Children and Adults Board President.
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