Selena’s Story


When Selena became a legal adult at 18, she was out on her own and found herself homeless and struggling day to day. She was living out of a small car and sleeping on the streets with her boyfriend in Pittsburg and Hayward. She feared for her safety and had to sleep with a survival knife and pepper spray. They worked to save up money and were finally able to get a van. It was hard to find showers at churches, and hotel rooms were too expensive. Eventually, they were able to move their van near the Martinez Marina.

Selena didn’t know how to get connected to housing services, but eventually met and received a referral from Contra Costa County Coordinated Outreach Referral Engagement (CORE) staff while she was picking up garbage around her van to keep her space tidy. Soon after she started the paperwork to enroll her in Hope Solutions’ Youth and Young Adults (YYA) program which provides time-limited subsidy assistance and in-home support services. Two days later they were housed in an apartment near her boyfriend’s work and were happy to be close to stores and a pretty park down the street.

“I am thankful to come into our house and call it ours – everything is safe. No one will come and mess with our van. Before Hope Solutions, I was feeling hopeless, and now I am stable and appreciate the program for its help in applying for my apartment.”

Now that Selena is housed, she is thankful for daily showers and a safe space. The apartment provided critical shelter from the late summer heat and wildfire smoke and will provide comfort in the cooler months to come. Now that she has a home to call her own, Selena is looking forward to getting a laptop and completing her schooling to be a nursing assistant.