“AHO really helped me open my eyes.”



“My exciting good news is I just found out recently that I was accepted at UC Berkeley, which is a dream come true. AHO will help me with scholarships and whatever I might need to be successful on this new path.”


My name is Mathew, and I am 20 years old.  I found AHO through someone from the County that gave me Zara’s number. It was one of the most beneficial phone calls of my life. I was sent away when I was sixteen and in and out of homelessness since I have been eighteen. My mother sent me to boarding school for a year and eleven months after she got remarried and when I turned eighteen I was kicked out and “thrown to the wolves”.  I had no idea what the real world was like and no idea how to be a mature, self supporting young adult. Going from being institutionalized for over a year to being fully independent young adult was one the worst things and the best thing for me. It opened my eyes to so many things, some things took a toll on me because of my own mistakes and having to learn things based on experience. I have  taken the time and the effort to learn from those mistakes and now I have a positive outlook on the situations I was in and am committed to making things right regardless of who did what, or what my consequences would be.

AHO has helped me in so many ways along my journey. Zara, and the fantastic people who help with AHO, have been there in every aspect of my life, with everything I need to keep going. They are there for support and advice and helping with financial situations as well. AHO helped me get my driver’s license and has helped me with great connections for jobs. The most important thing that AHO has provided for me is letting my voice be heard among the community of Marin as a youth spokesperson, so that our County can open their eyes to the issue of young adults who are homeless or in jeopardy of being homeless.  I feel great about being able to help AHO and other youth in our fight to cut the head off of the snake of homelessness by starting with where it matters most –  with the young adults of AHO and every other young person in this situation from the ages of eighteen to twenty-five who are without family support or resources to achieve their goals. AHO has been one of the better social services of Marin in my eye, they make you feel welcomed and wanted from the beginning. Every person who works for AHO cares about every youth more than I can ever explain in words.

Being in AHO really helped me open my eyes and helped me get on track for what I want to do with my life. With AHO support,  I am planning on going to school for graphic design and then want to open my own collection of art galleries all over the United States. AHO will always be there, because of the connections I have made through them are for a lifetime.  AHO has helped me make so much progress in my life. I have used everything they have taught me as stepping stones to a better and brighter future for myself and the future of the other youth AHO serves.

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