SDYS Voices

SDYS Voices: Rica


Meet Rica, who stayed at our Youth Emergency Shelter and recently spoke at our Homeless Youth Walk & Rally.

“[The shelter] was a new place for me and I thought it would be scary, but when I met a lot of staff and other service partners like me I felt like I was at home. I was connected to different counseling services and able to access some of my basic health needs, like dental care, medical care and vision. I even learned how to take the bus. Now my goal is to get into Job Corps, finish high school and eventually go to college.

The services provided were very helpful but at the end of the day I felt that I was the one who made it possible because I had the courage to pursue a better future for me. I taught myself how to be brave and realize that in life, all of us face challenges.

I want to encourage all of you that nothing is impossible. You need to believe in yourself. There are people out there who care and if you are given the opportunity, take advantage of it. There is a lack of safe housing options for teens in San Diego, but we have the chance to end youth homelessness. We can make it happen. I believe every youth is part of the future and deserves to have a stable place to be and finish their education, so they can achieve their goals in life.”