Levi first came to Safe Place for Youth over a year ago. Homeless and sleeping on the beach, Levi presented as an emotional, yet hopeful young woman. As Levi started attending Drop-In on a regular basis, she involved herself in some of the activities including creative writing, art groups and women’s group. Through the art and craft activities facilitated by DAZ Foundation counselors, Levi made a connection with a counselor, developing trust over the weeks and leading her to request regular counseling sessions. Through counseling Levi was able to safely explore her difficult upbringing and the traumas that she had survived throughout her young adult life. Not long after, Levi began to engage with Safe Place for Youth’s Case Manager and started forming safe relationships with other staff members and volunteers. Engagement in Case Management first assisted Levi to obtain her birth certificate and ID and then to explore housing options.
Unexpectedly, Levi learned, through Safe Place for Youth’s on-site medical clinic — run by Venice Family Clinic — that she was pregnant. Although initially frightened, Levi spoke at length with her Case Manager and counselor about doing whatever it took for her to create a safe and stable life for her child. With the assistance of her Case Manager, she attended regular pre-natal OBGYN appointments and through Safe Place for Youth’s partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Levi was able to secure emergency shelter at their Youth Center on Highland, where she stayed for several months. With the support of her Case Managers from Safe Place for Youth and The Center, Levi applied for housing through Venice Community Housing. Levi was accepted into VCH Transitional Living Program (TLP) whereby she has continued to progress in her goals of health, sense of safety, stability and independence.
The staff and volunteers at the TLP assisted Levi to gather all the basics to care for her child (including a car seat, crib, diapers, a changing table), they also assisted her to enroll in birthing and infant CPR classes through the Sanctuary. Levi’s Case Manager at Safe Place for Youth continued to support her to attend her pre-natal medical appointments and linked her to a Doula (through a new partnership with the Mama Circle). Levi formed a quick bond with her Doula, who provided her with pre-pregnancy and labor support. Recently, Levi gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Both mom and baby are doing great thanks to the support and successful partnerships Safe Place for Youth has with many community based organizations.