Feeling at Home – TILP Program Story

Posted by on Oct 28, 2019 in News, Stories | 0 comments

Martine, 21, is bright and ambitious. She has big dreams for her future and is determined to pursue them. Her beaming smile and ever-present positivity masks the challenges she has faced in the last few years.

Hathaway-Sycamores TILP Program

Two summers ago, Martine, her siblings and their mother lost their home. They scrambled from motel to motel for six months. A recent high school graduate, Martine was juggling a lot — working at Trader Joe’s and attending college classes in Santa Monica to become a teacher. She was constantly stretched thin between pursuing her own goals and her deep concern for keeping her family together. She researched housing options, but was discouraged when she couldn’t find a resource to keep them together.

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A recent Los Angeles report notes the incidence of youth homelessness (ages 18-24) at 24% of the homeless population.  The report further concludes, and it is widely accepted, that the long-term effects of even short periods of homelessness on this vulnerable population can have a devastating impact on the emotional and physical development of these young persons.

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Her best solution became individualized supportive housing for young adults. It meant having to separate from her family.  That’s when she found Hathaway-Sycamores.

“Hathaway-Sycamores’ program is teaching me to enjoy my home. I love my apartment. I want to spend time there. It’s given me an idea of what I want when I get older…to create an environment that makes me feel comfortable.

Sometimes you have to sacrifice, but I’m learning that not everything has to be a sacrifice. There’s a time in your life where you have to press “grind mode”. During my time here, I have been able to breathe a little and focus on my future. I graduated from PCC and I even got a scholarship to study abroad in Costa Rica. I don’t know if I would have gotten that same opportunity somewhere else. I was able to study there for a whole month. I had never even been on a plane before! Going to Costa Rica, studying and educating myself in different ways—I want to continue that kind of life. I still want to grind, but I just want it to be easier.”

And she will be doing more—she’s just been accepted to Cal Poly Pomona to complete her bachelor’s degree, and hopes to eventually pursue a master’s in social work to support others in her position.

“Being in this housing program has given me more space to trust myself. There’s so much I want to do and explore. I’m little more ready. I’m just grateful I have the opportunity to do it.”

Martine’s story is one of the stories featured in Hathaway-Sycamores 2018-2019 Impact Report, The Journey Home. Click here to see the entire report.

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