I think my pregnancy was a result of my childhood. I was homeless up until 6-7 years ago. I lived in cars, shelters, motels and my dad was in jail my entire childhood. He got out when I was 13 and two week later he was murdered. My mom was on drug my whole childhood and a little before my dad died she had a psychotic break and quit her job then things went downhill. I was 14 when we moved into Hamilton emergency shelter. I didn’t want to live out of a shelter going into high school I would couch surf with my friends. When school started I called CPS and put myself in foster care. I had a boyfriend, stopped going to school, got pregnant, moved back with my mom and ever since then I’ve just been dealing with families broken by substance abuse and poverty because even though I’m doing well for myself now, my family is still struggling.
I got emancipated at 17 and they moved me into a slum type housing unfortunately, I was living there for almost 4 years, there were a lot of rental rights that were violated and no inspection. I was fortunate to be working within the community but still struggled with housing and unemployment due to the temporary nature of the jobs I was getting. From becoming a young parent and dealing with all the trauma as a child gave me more love for my son. Constantly dealing with being a low income single mom, child care issues and the fact that even though i make a good amount of income I still don’thave enough to live in the City.
What were some programs or individuals that supported you?
Horizons unlimited helped me. They’ve been employing me for 7 years faithfully. Hilltop high school, it is one of the best schools in the city. The combination between hilltop and horizons were major factors in my current success. I almost didn’t make it but they made me think about community and the type of world I wanted my son to live in. Even if I do have a lot of challenges to work through I am much better off than I would be.
What would you like funders or policy makers to know regarding being a young adult parent?
Resources don’t exist for high functioning youth. They want us to be super struggling. It’s either you get resources but they don’t want you to go to school or make money. It’s a loophole and a trap. Any resources you try to access are not available because you are considered “doing too well” even though you are barely making it.
San Francisco is no longer family friendly.