Adam’s Story

On his daily neighborhood walk, Santa Clarita resident Craig* often noticed a man sleeping in the park in the middle of the day. He then started to see the man sleeping at a table on the outdoor patio of a local coffee shop. At first, he couldn’t guess the man’s age, because he wore a hoodie and kept his head covered. Craig began purchasing food for the man, asking the coffee shop staff to give it to him without revealing its source. One day, the man saw Craig purchasing the food and approached him to thank him. Craig realized that the man, Adam,* was young. After that, Craig would talk to Adam whenever he saw him and slowly learned his story.

Craig learned that Adam was a 23-year-old former foster youth who was attending a California State University when his money ran out. He was evicted from the dorm and went to live with an aunt in Santa Clarita. When his aunt decided she no longer wanted a houseguest, Adam moved into an apartment with a roommate, but he couldn’t afford the rent. Forced to leave once again, Adam found himself homeless. Although he had a full-time job working at a gas station convenience store, he couldn’t afford housing. He would work at night and then sleep at the park or the coffee shop during the day.

Craig contacted one of the pastors at his church to find out if he knew of any resources for Adam. The pastor told Craig about FYI and gave him our program director, Gina’s, number. As soon as Gina got the call from Craig, she tried to reach Adam at the number he provided, but there was no response. Her attempts to connect with him were unsuccessful until one day, Craig called Gina while he was at the coffee shop with Adam. Gina raced over to meet them. She learned that Adam’s cell service had been disconnected, and he could only be reached when he was near free WiFi. Gina told Adam that, when he was ready, FYI would send a ride for him so he could come to the office for an intake. Arrangements were made, and Adam came to the office and joined the FYI community. FYI immediately paid for his cell service to be reinstated so we could maintain contact with him.

During the intake meeting, Adam shared that his biggest challenge was constant hopelessness. FYI’s intake form asks youth what kind of life they would like to attain. Adam answered, “My ideal life would be the exact opposite of the one I am currently living.”

FYI reached out to our local homeless shelter, Bridge to Home, and arranged for Adam to stay there until a more permanent solution could be found. When asked why Adam had not utilized the shelter before, he explained that without a working phone, he couldn’t find the resources he needed. Adam has been coming to the FYI office regularly where we are helping him get all the resources he needs, including MediCal, a bus pass, a bike and college financial aid. FYI helped him obtain his birth certificate and his college transcripts, which show he has already completed 45 units toward a bachelor’s degree!

Along with our new youth, FYI has gained a new Ally. As soon as Craig learned about this role, he asked if he could be paired with Adam. He then submitted a volunteer application, attended FYI’s training session, and is in the process of becoming Adam’s Ally!

Foster youth are highly susceptible to homelessness after they age out of foster care. We have all seen the statistics, but more importantly, we have seen the faces of youth who have no safety net and no place to call home. Craig and Adam are a beautiful example of how we can help solve our society’s homelessness problem one caring relationship at a time.

*Names changed to protect privacy.


While Adam stayed at the homeless shelter, his FYI coordinator, Debie, and program director, Gina, worked tirelessly on his behalf. They were able to get him the documents (like his birth certificate and foster care proof of dependency letter) and resources (like MediCal, transportation and financial aid) he needed, and enroll him at our local community college. Adam plugged right into the FYI community, regularly attending The Study Place, coming to our Elfmas holiday party, and participating in our Money Matters classes. Meanwhile, Craig completed Ally training and officially became Adam’s Ally, guiding and encouraging him and researching potential resources for Adam.

We are thrilled to report that Adam moved into his permanent home! He is now renting a room at one of the two houses owned by a generous local couple who rents their homes exclusively to FYI youth at a rate they can afford. Adam is not homeless anymore!

Although his face is blurred to protect his confidentiality, we promise you he is grinning from ear to ear in each of these photos!

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