Michael admits that he veered off track in life a few times growing up. “I had my share of trying to be involved with gangs and drugs, but over time, I realized that wasn’t the life for me.” During one particular detour – his last sentence of three-and-a-half years in prison – Michael received word […]
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A spirit of love fills Antonio and Suzette’s home. On a weekend afternoon, you might find Suzette reading on the porch with Antonio close by, caring for the family’s beloved dogs. Arrive at another time, and the place may be brimming with friends and family, warm laughter and voices filling the air. It is a […]
Flomanda vividly remembers living under a bridge in Downtown Los Angeles with her mother and two brothers at 8 years old. The years that followed would be marked by instability, substance abuse, and life in and out of the criminal justice system. At 17, and still a child herself, Flomanda became a mother and began a journey of finding herself so she could build a better future for her family.
Garrick’s workday kicks off at 6:30 in the morning with the arrival of a photograph. Pictured is a map indicating where he and his team will be providing outreach services for the day to some of L.A. County’s most vulnerable populations. As a member of a Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) Team, Garrick and […]
Reporter Tanya McRae with Spectrum News recently visited our Chrysalis San Fernando Valley center to film a story about a Chrysalis client who overcame addiction and homelessness and went on to run his own business. Watch the piece, and check out Antonio’s success story in our newsroom!
Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, where a soundtrack of gunshots and helicopters seemed to play on repeat, Cordaro struggled to find the motivation to steer his life in any particular direction. A 6-year prison sentence stopped Cordaro in his tracks, motivating him to build a better life for himself and his family. With support from Chrysalis, Cordaro landed a job and changed his future.
When a caterpillar enters its chrysalis stage, it begins to transform from an immature, inactive larva into a beaming butterfly. Myron Tobin, a 57-year-old South Central native, entered his chrysalis stage in 2013 when he was released from prison after 33 years.
In 1984, John Dillon founded Chrysalis, Apple released the first commercially successful computer, and Myron was looking back on his first two years in prison. It would be another three decades before he would arrive at Chrysalis and start a massive game of catch-up with the world and technology.
When Johnny was ready to reconnect to the workforce after over 20 years without stable employment, Chrysalis was there to help. Now, more than a decade later, Johnny is still telling his story to encourage and inspire.
Ernie spent much of his life going in circles, in and out of prison, with no destination in sight. When his Employment Specialist asked him what he wanted to do for work, he felt empowered to change his trajectory and reshape his future for what felt like the first time in his life.
After a 4-year cycle of substance abuse and unstable housing, Maria came to Chrysalis and found a place where she could heal and ready herself to return to her career as a real estate broker. Now, she inspires others with her story. Learn about her journey and how a very special workshop series empowered Maria as an individual and business woman.
With years of solid work history and a college degree, Katherine never imagined she would lose her livelihood and her home. As she grappled with the reality of beginning a job search in her 60s, she knew she needed someone in her corner.
Jayson was faced with challenges after he left that army that lead him to substance abuse and more than 17 years of homelessness. He came to Chrysalis for a fresh start. Now, he transforms discarded carbon fiber into skateboards – a job that has transformed his life.
A native Texan, Byron left a history of drug use and a life in and out of the criminal justice system behind and moved to L.A. He was ready for a change, but he was struggling to land a job because of his past.
Jonathan grew up with little supervision in a rough neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. Early on, he established himself as a troublemaker, often following the example of the older neighborhood boys. His first trip to Juvenile Hall at 14 years old marked the beginning of 20 years of intermittent jail and prison sentences.
While living out of his car, Demetrious tried to hang on to some semblance of his past. He found comfort in his art, drawing the landscape – hard streets decorated with his fellow neighbors living in various states of homelessness.
Latasha came to L.A. to pursue a career helping others. But after her first employer moved the organization to another state and a second opportunity fell through due to economic downturn, she found herself in a tough spot.
Darlene explains that after years of receiving support from others as she battled addiction, she decided that she was ready to give back and bring order to her life. Her job as a groomer is one outlet that is allowing her to be of service to others – both humans and their animals.
Despite struggling with homelessness for the majority of his adult life, Hassan seeks the good in every day. His search for hope led him from New York to Los Angeles…he did not expect his journey to the West Coast to bring him to our Skid Row neighborhood – a place seen by the rest of the country as the epicenter of homelessness.
Every morning, John Johnson and Sydney Sheiner set out to chat up the people who frequent places such as the Central Library’s Maguire Gardens, the 4th Street overpass and Pershing Square. Their mission is to contact, interview and assist the roughly 130 homeless people living at any time in the west side of downtown.
Omara fled to the streets at a young age, because being on her own seemed a better alternative to living in an unstable and abusive home. Drugs eventually became another escape. On a downward path spurred by her addiction, Omara eventually landed in jail and lost custody of her five children. She realized she needed to create a better future for her family.
“Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?” For an addict with a record like Raymond, this question became, “Where do you see yourself in the next five minutes?”
For over the course of 10 years, Ron was living on the streets, struggling to find work due to a previous offense. It was after he started a family that Ron realized the urgency of his situation. He needed to find work and a safe place to live for his wife and three children.
Enrique grew up thinking that people with jobs were different than he was. And going to an office or having a 9-to-5 was never something that he would have the opportunity to do. However, upon his most recent release from jail, he decided that he was ready for something else.
GOOD reports: “Dinner guests at Gwen, the Los Angeles restaurant and butchery helmed by celebrity TV chef Curtis Stone—who you may know from “The Celebrity Apprentice 3” and “Top Chef Masters”—may not see what goes on behind the scenes.”
Chrysalis is now part of two different rapid re-housing initiatives, Breaking Barriers and the Housing and Jobs Collaborative (HJC), in an effort to end the vicious cycle of homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration by helping men and women gain access to housing and employment.
Growing up in Beverly Hills and Hollywood with a famous father probably sounds like the type of circumstance that would set someone up for success. But for Darrell, a life a partying, drug use, and too much extra time on his hands landed him in and out of jail for over the course of nearly 20 years.
Chrysalis is excited to celebrate a huge milestone for Breaking Barriers. This August, the program hit the 100+ clients housed mark!
As John makes his rounds in Downtown Los Angeles, he greets individuals —some all too familiar faces— all struggling with homelessness. Maybe today will be the day they are ready to come to him for help. After experiencing homelessness, incarceration, and a 24-year off-and-on battle with addiction, John knows what a challenge it is to admit when it’s time to get help.
Despite having a diverse work history, a positive attitude, and the drive to find employment, Robert was being turned down for jobs time and time again. Though he was focused on moving forward, every rejection from potential employers reminded him of his past.