By: April Gaskins, youth participant

My name is April and I am a client of LAYC’s street outreach programs. I am beyond grateful for the services I received [at the LAYC Safe Housing Drop-in Center for homeless youth]—from showers to hot meals, from clean underclothes to a safe place to rest. My caseworker, Diana, and her boss, John, have gone above and beyond their job descriptions to help me.

When I first came to this program, I was coming from a domestic violence program. Instantly, my partner, step-daughter, and I were welcomed with open arms. Over this past year, the program has helped me with my alcohol problem by giving me lots of resources and one-on-one mental health support, including taking me to doctors’ appointments. They also helped me with some legal problems—something I wasn’t aware they could help with. Diana stood by my side at court dates, parole meetings, and even gave me character reference letters.

After working with LAYC, I have two jobs, I have better control of my drinking, and I was accepted into the rapid re-housing program after struggling with homelessness. This program brought the best out of me. This program saved my life and gave me the hope and faith in myself that I lost a long time ago. To show my gratitude to the program, I wanted to share my story of success. I love this program and would tell any youth out there who is lost that here, at LAYC, you have a home and a family.

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