Youth homelessness is especially difficult to address. Most youth are not responsible for their own homelessness – they may have voluntarily or involuntarily left abusive homes, suffer mental illness, aged out of foster care, or began the cycle of homelessness with their families. Without positive intervention, many homeless youth continue the pattern of homelessness into adulthood. No matter the reason for their circumstance, organizations like the San Diego-based Youth Assistance Coalition (YAC) are there to help break the pattern. YAC is run solely by volunteers who work tirelessly to advocate for youth in San Diego. Their mission is to “positively impact the lives of youth experiencing homelessness through empowerment, mentorship, and community collaboration in order to provide transformative opportunities.” And they do just that every single day.
In Her Own Words – Cyanne’s Story
Read one young lady’s story about her time living unsheltered and how the volunteers at YAC helped her make positive changes in her life. And then see how you can help young people just like her this Giving Tuesday.
“Hi, my name is Cyanne K. and I am 20 years old. I met the YAC team a couple of years ago, I was homeless, a high school dropout and struggling with addiction. I found out YAC helped struggling youth. I asked them about rehabs for my best friend because I didn’t know that I was an addict. Heather later asked me if the rehab was for my friend or me and it opened my eyes to the fact that I was an addict. Of course, this scared me, and I kept using.
I was homeless and jobless, breaking into bathrooms to have a place to sleep at night. I remember being so tired of the lifestyle and texting or calling Heather begging for help. She even answered me when she was on vacation. At one time, they put me in a sober living, but I left because I wasn’t ready to put in the work to change. A team member from YAC texted me that day, telling me what I was doing to myself, and I ignored her because I thought I knew better. Back into active addiction, I went.
Fast forward to the present day. I have a little over a year clean, my own apartment and a job. I’m a YAC kid now! YAC has supported me throughout this journey, even when I was being stubborn. They were also there for my mom when I turned to the streets and got hooked on heroin. Thanks to YAC, I have a high school diploma, and I’m going to college in January to follow my dreams! Heather got my best friend into rehab a few months ago, and now she is a YAC kid! People like Heather change the lives of struggling kids and young adults, and it’s amazing. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t met Heather or the YAC Team!”
How Can You Help Break the Pattern of Youth Homelessness?
Youth homelessness directly leads to adult homelessness when the pattern is not broken. The Lucky Duck Foundation is proud to support organizations like YAC that do so much in our community to provide services that break the pattern. This Giving Tuesday, your donation to the Lucky Duck Foundation provides critical funding to alleviate the suffering of youth homelessness. When you make a monetary donation to LDF, we will match your donation (up to $25,000) and donate it directly to YAC. Together we can do more for San Diego’s experiencing homelessness.