© Glenn Marzano | The Village Family Services
In California, more than 187,000 youth don’t know where they’re sleeping tonight
In our darkest hours, when we don’t know where else to turn, we seek out beacons of hope to help us rebuild. The Village Family Services is one such beacon. Among those who have experienced the transformative power of this remarkable organization is Alisse, a young woman who defied the odds and rebuilt her life with the help of The Village.
At age 14, Alisse was addicted to methamphetamine, cocaine, and alcohol, and was in an abusive relationship. Five years later, she had tried multiple times to leave her spouse and break free of her addiction, but she continually relapsed. Eventually, her three children were taken from her and placed in foster care. Her life continued to spiral downward, and she found herself homeless and alone.
“I was sleeping in cars, and every penny I had went to buy cigarettes and alcohol,” Alisse recalled. “It was so hard just getting by. And then COVID hit, making everything even more difficult.”
Desperate for help, Alisse called 2-1-1, the emergency resource line, and was put in touch with Leticia Garcia from The Village Family Services, who introduced her to The Village’s Drop-In Center for Youth Services.
The Village, founded in 1997 by Hugo C. Villa, LMFT, and Irma Seilicovich, LMFT, was born out of a pressing need for bilingual, bicultural social services in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County. Over the years, it has grown into a leading force in providing trauma-informed programs and support for vulnerable and underserved populations. From combating youth homelessness to delivering evidence-based behavioral health services, The Village has been at the forefront of creating positive change for those who need it the most—like Alisse.
With help from The Village and her case manager, Alisse secured a temporary studio apartment. Finally in a safe space, she was able to address her addictions and navigate the process of regaining custody of her children.
Today at age 25, Alisse has a one-bedroom home, her children are with her, and she is celebrating a year of sobriety. She has a job, a car, and she’s in a healthy relationship. She hopes one day to become a case manager and help others, like those who helped her.
Over the years, The Village has evolved and expanded its operations, offering a comprehensive range of trauma-informed programs and services, with three separate locations totaling over 25,000 square feet of program space. The organization has been a trailblazer in providing culturally sensitive foster care and adoption services.
The Village’s commitment to cultural competence has been recognized with the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children–All Families seal, which acknowledges its exceptional work with LGBTQ youth and families. In 2020, The Village was also named California Nonprofit of the Year for the 39th District, a testament to its impact and dedication.
The Village has served nearly 10,000 young people at our Drop-In Center for Youth Services since 2013.
The Village continues to be an unwavering force in its mission to protect children from abuse, preserve families, and build a stronger, safer community. Alisse’s story serves as a testament to the transformative power of The Village. With their support, she found the strength and resources to overcome addiction, homelessness, and personal trauma. Today, she stands tall with renewed resilience and hope.
Your support makes a tremendous difference. Visit thevillagefs.org to learn more about how you can help end youth homelessness.
The Village Family Services is a leader in providing trauma-informed, culturally sensitive services to children, homeless youth and families so that they can lead safe, healthy and productive lives.