by Dave Sharp, LAYC participant

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank LAYC as a whole for providing a place for me to stay out of trouble and get my priorities on the right track. I was born in St. Louis, MO, and moved to DC to live with my cousin at a young age due to my mother being financially incapable of looking after me. Throughout my time here in DC, I have had a constant feeling of insecurity and loneliness, which didn’t help with my depression. Although I’m still young, I have matured enough to know that if I had continued on that dark path, it would have led to my destruction.

I originally found out about the LAYC Safe Housing Drop-In Center through a friend who was homeless. She would come to eat and take care of personal hygiene, up until the staff here were able to help her get into a safe housing program. I’ve been coming to the Drop-In Center to complete job applications, check my emails, and grab a bite to eat when I don’t have enough to buy food. Being able to come here has kept me from a lot of the negative activities I used to take part in. I am especially grateful to the staff here who have managed to try to help me in any way that they can.

My case manager has definitely become a mentor to me. Being bilingual, the only thing he hasn’t helped me do is learn Spanish (ha ha). Seriously though, I appreciate his attentiveness to my issues and concern for my well-being. Being that I was born in St. Louis and not in Washington DC, I found it difficult to deal with my hardships all by myself. My case manager has made it more of a team effort, so now I feel more capable of becoming successful. I currently have four interviews lined up and ready, as well as two program offers for long-term trades in both entrepreneurial studies and flooring. I will eventually have to choose one of the programs and one job obviously; however, I am so grateful to have reached this turning point in my life. Though I am one of a few who have written my thank you, I am sure the others who benefit from the Drop-In Center here at LAYC are grateful, too.

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