Jay grew up in Santa Clara County in a traditional Latino family who valued education and struggled to find stability. After becoming a parent of two daughters at a young age and struggling with alcoholism, he faced several challenges growing up and as he matured to adulthood. A self-described challenging kid and adult, Jay found himself in Juvenile Hall and then county jail but never lost his sense of curiosity, learning, and personal growth. Witnessing his mother’s setbacks with addiction and then losing his brother to the disease, Jay’s lease on life shifted – first for the worst and then the better.
Through referrals from county employees, Jay was connected to New Haven Inn and has been thriving there since his arrival. Jay can live as his true, authentic self at NHI, using his chosen name and pronouns. After just a month at NHI, Jay completed a certification program, is working part-time, and making plans for the future. He is looking to become a drug and alcohol counselor to give back after receiving so much care from his home county. Jay credits NHI staff and housemates with providing a strong foundation to “be myself” and grow into stability.
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