No child ever intends to become homeless. Just ask Daniel Estrada who, through no fault of his own, has faced extraordinary challenges. At age 9, Daniel and his 6 siblings were removed from their home due to serious neglect. He spent the next 8 years in the foster care system, living in 10 different homes.
Finally, at age 17, Daniel was adopted and he enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona. Sadly, the PTSD and depression that had been Daniel’s constant companions since childhood overcame him.
For the next year, Daniel bounced between sleeping at the homes of friends and family to eventually sleeping in a park and living on the streets.
Faced with this reality, Daniel knew he had hit rock bottom and that it was time to get help. That’s when he found his way to The Village Family Services.
Our team immediately helped Daniel stabilize his living situation at our Burbank Bridge Housing Shelter and provided the services he urgently needed to deal with his past abuse. With the encouragement and guidance of our staff, he enrolled in Los Angeles Valley College and began moving his life forward.
“Since coming to The Village I restarted my therapy and it’s been good. I have also began rekindling my relationship with my adoptive moms and am communicating my feelings in a better way.”
Today, Daniel is focused on healing and school, and is planning for his future. “I see myself transferring to UC Riverside and studying creative writing.” Recently, he also reconnected with his grandmother and sister and has learned that he is going to be an uncle soon!
When asked what he wants people to know about youth dealing with homelessness he answered, “I want people to know that we’re not bad, we’re just lost.”