Carla Christopher: Fostering a heart for York

Carla Christopher never planned to stay in York, but when she got here, she found a place she couldn’t leave.

Presented by: Our York Media

It might seem like chance brought Carla Christopher to York, but as she says, “York has taught me there is no chance. Everything is connected.”

Carla has been many things to York – its poet laureate, Equality Fest founder, and future Lutheran minister. But all that began with one seemingly simple visit.

Eleven years ago, Carla was living in Baltimore. She was into the arts scene and had no responsibilities to anyone else. That changed when she met the niece of her then-girlfriend. The young woman was in foster care in York and didn’t have family willing or able to take her in.

“Here’s this 15-year-old girl. She’s angry at the world, wearing scrubs and plastic shower shoes,” Carla says. “She asked me, ‘Can you bring me feminine hygiene products? Can you bring me underwear and bras? I don’t have anything.’”

I realized there was no place I could go that was home anymore besides York.

Carla Christopher

That spoke to Carla, and she found herself renting a Craigslist apartment in York and getting certified as a therapeutic foster parent so she could help the young woman.

That’s where I developed a passion for working with young people,” she says. “If we could, in one generation, heal the needs of the young, we could heal the world.”

Fostering led Carla to York, and it opened her eyes to so many ways she wanted to help others. She never planned to stay – in fact, every time she got involved in a new project, she told herself once she was done, she was out.

But in York, she found a place she couldn’t leave.

“I realized there was no place I could go that was home anymore besides York,” she says. “This community was my home, my family. There’s no place else I’d rather fight for than York.”

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