How did you find SF4TAY?

I was homeless due to being kicked out of my father’s home. I couch surfed for a few months with relatives before I was housed for a short period of time at my mother’s & step-fathers home. My therapist connected me to the sf4tay website. She knew I had just left my abusive home situation and in need of some support.

What Resources did the website connect you to?

I was connected to Larkin Street Youth Services. I went into the shelter and was there for about two months before I was accepted to the Castro Youth Housing Initiative. Which is a LGBTQ+ specific housing site for homeless youth 24 and under.

How have these resources assisted you here in San Francisco?

The transitional living program has definitely helped me have stable housing for a few years while I try to figure out my next housing situation. I also participated in the youth employment program and the Bridge Academy program which is a college readiness program for youth. They also helped me with Math skills, English skills, admission essays and financial aid. I also received a scholarship from them as well.

Where are you now?

I feel a lot better not being in an oppressive house hold. I feel much better about my life outcomes and mostly my mental health. It was very depressing living in a situation where I wasn’t free to be myself. Now I feel like I have a community of support with making friends at the LGBTQ Center support group for queer people of color, being a student at city college and the co-chair of the youth advisory board at Larkin Street.

What advice would you give to youth visiting SF4TAY?

It will be rough. It is not an easy process or environment. You have to do what you need to do for yourself first and foremost. You must be proactive about getting connected to resources and make sure your voice is heard. You have to be specific about what you want for yourself and also be open to opportunities.

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