OUR PARTICIPANT'S stories
Read about some of our amazing LAFH participants and their stories.
Joseph was a rising star. As the operations manager for an investment-marketing group, he hired and trained telemarketers, wrote scripts, and called potential investors. But his success was halted by a layoff during company downsizing.
Unable to afford rent, he and his 10-year-old daughter Chantal moved into a friend’s music studio. He worked there part-time as a sound engineer, barely making ends meet. Then the owner of the studio sold the business.
Chantal moved in with her mom and Joseph moved around. For years, he never considered himself homeless “enough” to get help. He wasn’t living on the street and he had no desire to go to a shelter. But moving constantly was tiring, and Joseph finally broke down and sought help.
With one bag of clothes and a single pair of shoes, he moved into our Bridge Housing. An employment counselor helped him begin work as a cook. Two weeks later, his Housing Locator helped him find an available apartment in the Valley.
Now that Joseph has a home, he has more peace of mind. A committed and proud father, he now sees his daughter regularly and they enjoy cooking dinner together in his new apartment.
Maggie and her boys experienced homelessness for nearly two years before finding help. The instability of bouncing from friends’ homes to motels affected the entire family, especially her son Ilan’s struggle with autism and ADHD.
At LA Family Housing, Maggie was given a fresh start. Together, Maggie and her case manager created a housing plan that met the specific needs of her children, while also addressing her battle with depression. As she worked toward permanent housing, her children participated in LAFH-sponsored activities and began to believe in a brighter future.
From the moment her family moved into their permanent home, Maggie was determined to succeed. Maggie is receiving follow-up services to maintain her family’s stability, and Ilan has earned two academic achievement financial awards toward education after high school. Together, the family is stronger than they ever imagined.
“I thought my past was behind me, that I had overcome my hardships.I didn’t see it coming when the abuse started all over again.”
Growing up, Ashley never had a feeling of safety or permanence. She suffered abuse from her father and was then raised in the foster care system. As a teenager, she left home to make it on her own, even taking jobs as a stripper. She experienced many setbacks, including time in jail, but she eventually found her footing.
With steady work and her own apartment, Ashley was proud to be making a life for her daughter. But everything soon spiraled out of control. Her boyfriend severely beat her, resulting in an extended hospital stay. Ashley was laid off and eventually evicted from her home. “My daughter and I spent one night in a U-Haul truck. I knew then something needed to change. I wanted better for her.”
When Ashley connected with LAFH, she received safety in a temporary women’s shelter while her case managers began searching for permanent housing solutions. “The process of finding an affordable apartment was overwhelming, especially while I was recovering emotionally and trying to take care of my daughter. LAFH had relationships with landlords, and they vouched for me. A volunteer even brought donated furniture. I needed that support.”
“We spent months sleeping in an office space because that was all I could afford to rent. I had to take showers at the gym, and my boys used a friend’s place.”
When his wife’s alcoholism grew worse, Alpha often had to miss work to take care of his two boys. Eventually, with no steady income, Alpha and his sons became homeless. They slept in the car for a while, then on friends’ couches, and then in an unused office space.
They managed like that for a year, but Alpha was running out of options. Finally, he found LAFH. “It was the first glimmer of hope I’d had in a long time.”
Through permanent housing and employment counseling, LAFH provided Alpha the fresh start he needed, and he soon got a full-time job at Target. “I’m ready to go to the next level, even go to school, but right now I’m trying to be financially stable first.”
BRIAN & CHI' MERE
A successful entrepreneur, Brian was always accustomed to providing for his family. But when his business folded, he struggled to make ends meet. Though his girlfriend Chi’Mere was in school to become a medical assistant, she postponed her studies to look for work. Without steady employment, the family became homeless.
LA Family Housing became the safety net that Brian and Chi’Mere needed to regain their footing. No longer worried about where they would sleep, the couple began to focus on finding employment, locating permanent housing, and helping their children succeed in school. Together, with case management support, they participated in financial literacy workshops and set aside savings.
Moving into permanent housing was a dream come true – a reward after months of hard work. Now off to a fresh start, Brian and Chi’Mere feel confident in their restored independence.
Homelessness began for Jerome and his daughter Sara with the shocking discovery that Sara’s mother was physically abusing her. Jerome took off work to care for his daughter, but was then laid off. As a former Marine, his veteran benefits helped them stay afloat. But the job market was dry, and they eventually lost their apartment.
LA Family Housing was a safe space away from the chaos. After attending employment counseling, Jerome found a job as a security guard and began saving money toward permanent housing. Parenting classes helped him manage single fatherhood. Meanwhile, Sara—who barely spoke to anyone besides her dad—began to open up and make some friends.
When they moved into permanent housing, Jerome reclaimed his sense of pride, independence and security. Now, he can give Sara a better life.