Mattie’s Story

I was a preteen when my mom discovered I was gay. I wasn’t ready for it to happen the way it did. The next thing I knew, I was arguing with my mom, trying to convince her that being gay is not a phase.

After that, I ran away and was homeless on and off for the next nine years.

I learned quickly how to survive. I slept in parks, in friend’s houses or backyards. Occasionally I stayed in shelters, but after being sexually abused, I couldn’t go back.

“Community Housing Partnership helped me become an active member of society. I have a home. I pay rent. I volunteer.”

After graduating high school, I had my first grand mal seizure and spent the next four days in a coma. Besides epilepsy, I also developed schizophrenia – it was hard during this time to get a grasp on reality. I moved around and worked whatever jobs I could find, but for the most part I remained homeless, without the medical support I needed.

Community Housing Partnership (CHP) changed my life trajectory.

Last year, I found a home at the CHP’s Edward II Apartments, which house 24 formerly homeless young people. I love it. It’s quiet; you can actually see some stars, and I live near the water. We have a mindfulness group and do yoga.

I recently participated in CHP’s Learning Academy, which trained me to be a front desk clerk. Then, I was hired to work at CHP’s Social Enterprise, Solutions SF. Solutions SF is more than just a job – it’s a program that teaches you to keep a job. After Solutions SF, I found full time employment with benefits as a desk clerk. CHP gives everyone a chance, no matter their background, and supports them in a way other programs don’t.

The support I’ve received from CHP has given me a sense of self-worth. I’m proud to be at a place where I’m thinking about myself and taking care of myself. I eat better and exercise. All of this has helped me to cut down my seizures from multiple every day to only one or two per month.

Community Housing Partnership helped me become an active member of society. I have a home. I pay rent. I volunteer.

I don’t know where the future will lead, but I’d love to be a case manager and help others. All of my experiences, no matter how challenging, brought me to this point. I’m happy.