“I Needed You. I Just Didn’t Know it at the Time.”
We tend to focus on the youth and families who come to us for help but, just the other day, we received a touching reminder from someone who didn’t make it to Casa Youth Shelter.
A gentleman approached CYS Outreach Director Pam Sepulveda in the courtyard of our shelter. He was in his mid 60s and looked inquisitive.
“Does this place take in homeless teens?” he asked.
“Yes,” replied Pam. “Do you know a youth who needs help?”
He proceeded to tell Pam that he had been homeless from the time he was 6 years old. He committed his first armed robbery at the age of 15. “I needed you,” the man said. “I just didn’t know it at the time. I love what you are doing here and I just wanted to let you know.” He introduced himself just by his first name and then handed Pam $20.
She offered to give him a receipt, a thank you note, even a tour of the shelter. “No thanks,” he said. “I just want to be able to help you help these kids.” Then he walked away.
To all of the troubled youth who grew up without support or intervention, we hope you are thriving as adults. And to all the youth out there who might need our services, we are here for you all day every day.