Tiare, SOH’s Hope Connections transitional housing beneficiary, was featured on Fox 11 with the nonprofit A Sense of Home. She was a former foster youth who became homeless after exiting foster care at the age of 21. She would couch surf and sleep in laundromats and parks.
Tiare did not let her circumstances stop her from two main goals – housing and education. The Hope Connections team assisted Tiare with locating an apartment in Lynwood for the Section 8 voucher she received. Also, they paired her with Sense A Home, an organization that provides furnishings for foster youth who move into permanent housing. A Sense of Home relieved a huge weight of furnishing and decorating Tiare’s apartment. Along with the laptop given to her, taking college courses in a serene place is easier now.
Tiare represents a fragment of foster youth who find themselves homeless after exiting foster care and are resilient in overcoming life obstacles. In Tiare’s own words:
“Life deals everyone a certain hand that will dictate the journey of our lives. Growing up, I felt I was dealt one of the worst hands possible. Being part of the foster care system, losing loved ones, battling mental illness, and struggling with homelessness, I had completely given up on a positive future for myself. It wasn’t until I met Douglas Byrd at Sanctuary of Hope that I began to see a shift in my life, giving me hope again. Since the first day we met at Southwest College, he helped me create a plan, stick to it, and he was always one phone call away. I would like to thank the whole Sanctuary of Hope team for their resources, patience, and love they have shown me being involved in the program. Sanctuary of Hope found me stable housing and provided me temporary transitional housing until my apartment was ready to move in. Thanks to Sanctuary of Hope, my view of my future has changed. I am in stable housing and enrolling in school for the fall semester. The helped me see you may be dealt a bad hand in the beginning but pick up the cards and keep playing. You win the game.”