Success Stories

Gabrielle’s Story

Gabrielle's early life was tragic but unfortunately not uncommon for the youth we meet at SafeZone. Her mother is a heroin addict who is HIV-positive; her father is an alcoholic. She has a long history of abuse and trauma from both parents, and has been diagnosed with several different mental health conditions. When she first came to SafeZone, she was homeless, couch-hopping between various extended family and friends. Only 17, she was on the run from a group home placement. Slowly, over time, Gabrielle came to trust staff at SafeZone and began working with a case manager. She began to take steps to meet her goals, including attending Independent Living Skills classes, obtaining a state ID, and making a medical and mental health plan. She is now enrolled in an employment training program. Perhaps most importantly, through her trusting relationships with SafeZone staff she is overcoming her lifelong resistance to mental health therapy and engaging with the SafeZone therapist to address some of her mental health needs. Gabrielle still has a long way to go to achieve independence, but she has made tremendous progress and is facing her future head-on and with support.

Rachel’s Story

When she came to SafeZone, Rachel was couch hopping and unemployed. She and her mother were having a difficult time getting along. They were living in poverty while working hard to maintain their life. Rachel also had recently come out as a lesbian and her Mom did not approve of her new partner. As a result, she and her son were forced to couch hop. Rachel came to SafeZone for the first time a little over four months ago and started working with a case manager. They set housing and employment goals and also talked about how she could improve her relationship with her mother. During this time her mother attempted to gain custody of Rachel’s son on grounds that Rachel was homeless. At that point, desperate to not  lose custody of her son, Rachel began to work very hard to find employment. She was at SafeZone everyday filling out applications and revising her resume and cover letter. Rachel was dedicated to finding employment so she could qualify for housing assistance from SafeZone. The hard work paid off. Rachel gained employment with a large company in a call center making $13.00/hour. While job searching Rachel also looked for an apartment. Her partner also found a job and they were able to move into their own place with the assistance of SafeZone. Rachel and her partner are now working full time and are stably housed thanks to their hard work and the help of SafeZone staff.


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