Cody entered our doors desperate to escape the throws of homelessness and violence from living on the street. He wanted more in life – like finding employment, developing a career, improving his communication and social skills, and creating responsible spending habits. More importantly, Cody wanted to overcome his depression, mania, and an eating disorder. For far too long, Cody relied on habitual isolation as a never ending and toxic cycle he couldn’t break.
After several months in our Host Homes program, Cody is thriving with his host pair. He’s developed and maintained a healthy, supportive relationship with his hosts and engages with case management on a consistent and fruitful basis. Cody even got a job caretaking with a stated goal of paying forward the advocacy and care he’s received from the Center.
Cody works full-time and is line for a promotion. He created and maintained a budget and managed to accrue substantial personal savings towards his housing goals. He consistently reports that his hosts have significantly improved his mood and overall wellness. Both Cody and his hosts have stated that their household feels like a family and Cody’s hosts play an active role as advocates, collaborators, and caretakers.
“It’s something I’ve never had before… and something I never thought I’d experience. They’ve given me a space to breathe, and I just appreciate this experience so much.”
As you saw with Cody’s journey, our housing services are a critical step to a stable home and self-sufficiency for many of our youth experiencing homelessness. It’s also an entry point for our Economic Justice Program (EJP).
Enter Nelson – a participant with the EJP who matched to a resident in one of our housing programs in May to help them prepare for a job fair last June.
From the beginning Nelson was consistent and reached out regularly to maintain communication and support. After each workshop leading up to the job fair, Nelson would connect with his mentee to ensure that he understood the lesson/activity and offer assistance with editing and practice. He reworked the resident’s resume and helped refine his 30 second elevator speech. When the time came for the professional clothing shopping day, Nelson came to the Center in-person and helped his mentee select two professional outfits and helped him tie a tie.
Even above and beyond, Nelson brought notebooks for all the program participants to use as a tool to organize their job search activities. Additionally, Nelson helped his mentee prepare for another event, a Youth Art Marketplace, making sure his art was ready to be presented to potential buyers. We are so appreciative of Nelson and US Bank for showing us what the fullness of this opportunity could be.
It’s not lost on us that these experiences disproportionately affect the LGBTQ+ community, especially towards our most marginalized and those experiencing homelessness. 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+ – that’s roughly 280 in the City of Sacramento – and 70% of our residents are queer and transgender people of color under 24.
It is because of this widespread need that we launched our Short-Term Emergency Placement house, which offers 12 beds, 90-days of shelter, meals, clothing, transportation, assistance obtaining identification documents, case management, medical and mental health services, and a level of safety and stability to prepare them for permanent housing. This is where we were able to help Cody on his journey.
This is in addition to our Transitional Living Program house, established in 2018, that provides 2-years of shelter and intensive care for 6 youth.
In the last year, your LGBTQ+ community center provided 4,783 emergency and transitional bed nights, but we always have waitlists and folks needing urgent help.
This is where you come in. If you join TODAY as a member you can fill the gap and help us provide more housing and another chance for our youth.
We are so committed to this effort that each new monthly member at the 15/month level or more will receive their very own pride mug, while supplies last! Don’t delay. Whether you join as a monthly member of our “Center’s Pride” club, or with a one-time contribution, you will be a member.
Thank you in advance,