“I became homeless after both my parents passed away.”
My name is Julian. I used to be a homeless youth in Marin County. I became homeless after both my parents passed away which forced me into a “couch surfing” lifestyle: bouncing around from house to house constantly figuring out where to stay for the night, sleeping in my car if I wasn’t able to find a spot. It was rough, but then I met Zara. She is like my life coach; if it wasn’t for Zara and AHO I would not be where I am today. AHO has helped me with everything from cell phones, to paying my security deposit for the first place I could call home in a very long time. Zara has gone above and beyond anything I could have imagined; she supported me in court, letting the judge know I am not a criminal, but an outstanding member of this community. I was given the opportunity to write several articles for the local Marin IJ about homeless youth in our County which I would have never had without AHO. I was also a member of the AHO Youth Leadership Team and helped plan and participate in several of their youth-led Youth Connects – an amazing youth-led event meant to help bring all the resources youth need into one location. Sammy Hagar even showed up for support because he too was a homeless youth when he was young.
I admire the way Zara has created a network of comprehensive AHO resources that homeless youth need to move out of the situation they are in. One of the resources Zara introduced me too was Toscalito Tire, a mechanic shop that has helped me fix almost every car I’ve owned. The manager of Toscalito Tire became a good friend of mine and sort of like an uncle. Zara and AHO have not only helped me with fixing my car, but getting it out of the tow yard and making sure I had insurance.
Today I am no longer homeless, I am clean and sober. I have a good job as a chef, I have a beautiful girlfriend who I love. If you would have asked me what I thought my life would look like ten years before I met Zara, I would not have imagined a life so comfortable and great. Even though I am now twenty-six, and no longer a youth, Zara reached out to me to let me know that AHO is still here to help me if, or when, I am ever in need. Zara assured me that I am forever a part of the AHO family and that AHO and Zara will always be there for me unconditionally.