Rachel’s Story


Rachel is a former foster youth who attended Safe Place for Youth’s Drop-In Center for case management and supportive services. Rachel completed high school and briefly attended the University of California, Riverside, however left college due to her mental health issues.

Rachel has PTSD, Autism, and seizures. Due to her high anxiety Rachel had a hard time going to new places and was unable to obtain a job. She had been denied SSI benefits in the past.  Rachel enrolled into case management whereby she engaged in counseling through DMH TAY FSP Program.  She also started working with the benefit specialist at Westside Center for Independent Living to appeal her SSI benefit application.

Getting off the streets was Rachel’s biggest goal, however she had very few housing options due to no income and her beloved service dog Schatzi.  Rachel was denied entry to both youth and adult shelters and housing programs because she needed Schatzi to be with her when she slept, to warn her about her seizures.

Rachel enrolled and was accepted into Code Talk, 10 week coding program offered by St. Joseph’s Center. During this time she got an unexpected visit from her foster family who offered for Rachel to go and live with them in Arizona after her course.  Rachel graduated from Code Talk and left the next day for Arizona.  She is living with her foster dad, working at his shop and providing freelance web design services.  At the time she left for Arizona, through CES, Rachel had been prioritized for a housing voucher through DMH and was waiting for an available opening.

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