“We’re not bad, we’re just lost.”
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.”
We love the 99 Cents Only Store!
We recently received a call from the 99 Cents Only Store, expressing their desire to help homeless young people. They visited our website and were inspired to support our Drop-In Center for Homeless Youth.

Their team selected The Village to be the featured nonprofit in the 99 Cents Only Stores’ pilot program: 99 commUNITY.

During the final week of January, employees from the North Hollywood location encouraged customers to donate toiletries to The Village’s Drop-In Center. In just the first two days, they collected over 1,100 toiletry items!

Thank you 99 Cents Only Store for providing essential support to homeless young people and for raising awareness in our community!
COVID Fund Helps Foster Families In Need

Foster Families are special. They open their hearts and homes to children in need and work tirelessly to ensure that each child receives the supportive services they need to thrive in school and in life.

The pandemic has created severe financial hardship for many of our foster families. Through the generous support of our foundation partners, we have raised $22,000 and provided emergency financial aid to 18 families who have suffered a job loss or other hardship as a result of COVID. The funds are used to cover basic needs such as rent, food, and utilities.

More families desperately need support to make it through these difficult times. You can help. Your donation of any amount to our special COVID Fund for Foster Families will make an immediate difference.
Learning More About Becoming a Foster Parent

Considering becoming a foster parent? Attend our online Foster Care Orientation on February 27 from 10:00 -11:30 am. Get the Zoom details or email fostercare@thevillagefs.org for more information. 
Messages of Gratitude

And finally, we sign-off with our deepest thanks to you for your support and encouragement. We are incredibly grateful that you are part of our Village.