Feeling at Home – TILP Program Story

Posted by on Oct 28, 2019 in Featured Slider, 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.


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.


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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