mobile menu

Youth Stories


"Delelo was on the floor at his home because his father wouldn’t let him use a bed, after years of berating, he was kicked out at 17. The first night he slept in the park.  'I was never so scared in all my life.'  The following night he found DreamCatcher Shelter. A month later the staff had explored his dreams and hopes, prepared and practiced interviewing with him. And he was accepted into  Job Corps.  Delelo was so excited he packed three weeks before that day he was to go and stayed packed. Today he is in Job Corps, proud that he is creating a future for himself. He still calls, they often do."


"DreamCatcher:  the name says it all. It wasn’t like a shelter, it was a house and the people there weren't staff, or they didn’t seem like staff, they were wonderful. I knew immediately it was going to work. I hadn’t had much of a family but I knew that this is what it was supposed to be like."
DreamCatcher staff remembers that Tiffany was focused and determined that her life’s challenges were not going to hold her back. Today, she is living in Virginia, raising a daughter of her own, and was recently promoted to run the accounts payable department at the hospital where she works.  She is nearly 30 years old and credits DreamCatcher with helping her to move forward through the dark time of her teen years.

Tiffany represents the nearly 100 youth served last year in our 8 bed shelter and 400 youth in our drop in center.  DreamCatcher is Alameda County’s only shelter for homeless teens 13 to 18 years old.  Since 2000, 90% of our youth have moved directly into stable housing, further education or employment.
The battles some of our youth face vary from mental health challenges to sexual exploitation.  With these comes a lack of trust as they test their environment and resist those who want to help them. DreamCatcher earns their trust.  Each of our youth is different and we customize support to uniquely fit their needs.