Shared housing: A step toward adulthood and away from crime

For Stephanie Sanches, 19, moving into shared housing for young people in the neighborhood of Lapa in the city of São Paulo brought with it a chance for her to earn her independence – and a dream to pursue a music career.

“Here, we have to stand on our own two feet,” said Sanches, who is graduating from high school and has composed more than 200 songs.

After leaving home at age 15, Sanches spent more than a year in a public shelter for teenagers. When she turned 18, she was sent to the housing complex in Lapa, where she lives with three girls her age. She prepares her food, washes her clothes and cleans the house. While it might not seem like much for some people, for Sanches, it represents a major step toward adulthood.

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