Time to Celebrate Our Clients

June 6, 2024

W Housing Resident Jonathan Gets Over 30 Scholar Awards

Jonathan is one of our residents at the W! Jonathan was born in Guatemala and is the youngest of 6 siblings. During his childhood he experienced family violence and abuse. Jonathan’s parents had expectations that he would work but Jonathan always dreamed of going  to school. Jonathan immigrated to the US at age 17 to follow his dreams of going to school, being independent and finding happiness. During his journey to California,  he was detained in Arizona and Pennsylvania until he was reunited with his older sister. His sister also expected Jonathan to start working right away which led to conflict, resulting in Jonathan leaving his sister’s home. He was connected to the Penny Lane and The W after his high school found out about Jonathan being unhoused.

Jonathan shares that during his time at the W he has received support from the staff and community allowing him to continue to focus on his goals. Jonathan was able to learn to speak English, he is excelling in school and has received many awards in school for academic success. Jonathan has also had the opportunities to travel to different colleges in California and most recently went to Sacramento where he met with different Senators. Jonathan had the opportunity to advocate for change focusing on reducing the stigma of the unhoused community and providing/creating more resources.  

Jonathan’s has goals to help his mother and bring her to the US. He is in the process of writing a movie and is interviewing his mother about her experiences of abuse and trauma. During his trip to Sacramento a senator expressed interest in reading about his mother’s story. Jonathan also wants to join the Airforce and become a pilot. Jonathan will be applying for college in the fall as he enters his senior year. Jonathan will continue to receive the support from the W to help him navigate this exciting chapter in his life.

-Carla Istupe-Salgado, Penny Lane Centers

Unarmed Mobile Crisis Response (UMCR) Success Story

We at the Unarmed Mobile Crisis Response (UMCR) team responded to a call about a mother holding a sign pan handling with her 8-month-old and 1 year old child outside of a Walmart. UMCR arrived and spoke with mother about why we were there and explained the purpose of our program. Mother was hesitant to explore their needs, but after some open communication about her family unit and UMCR staff building rapport with children, mother opened up about her struggles. Mother shared she struggles with personal hygiene due to providing all her resources to her children and at times being left with nothing for herself. Mother shared she stops at this location to get additional income to support her family.  

UMCR observed mother with poor hygiene and immediately offered tangible support. UMCR problem solved with mother providing items that could benefit her in taking care of herself.  We were then able to provide her with shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, clothing, and treats for her children. Although mother was reluctant to seek support for her children, mother utilized her voice and asked if UMCR could provide her with a stroller due to the one she was using being broken.

Collaborating with others at Penny Lane, UMCR was able to obtain a stroller donation for the family that will be provided to them this week. Mother was extremely thankful to UMCR and team was rewarded as they observed mother's fear of engagement slowly drift away.

-Katie Ortiz, Penny Lane Centers