Everyone Deserves A Dignified Home.
Illustration. The point of view is overhead. A young boy is asleep in a bed, which lies horizontal from the viewer perspective. The end of the bed is on the left of the composition and the top of the bed is on the right. The boy has a T-shirt on, and is covered by a duvet blanket from mid-torso downward. He lies on his side with a calm and peaceful expression. His head is in profile and faces the top of the composition. His right arm is under his pillow beneath his head, while his left holds his right forearm. His body is in a fetal position under the blankets. The bed has a rounded top bed board (matching the roundness of A Dignified Home’s logo). Next to the bed, and at the bottom of the frame, is a side table with a small potted plant on it. The plant is tropical with broad leaves—seven leaves layering one another in a circular pattern. The plant is healthy and flush. The plant’s pot is classic in form with a circular top. At the bottom of the bed and at the bottom of the image is a circular cast shadow, as if cast from window light next to the bed. The shadow is another rounded shape to match the roundness of the logo. In the shadow are lines detailing a hardwood floor pattern. This pattern of lines is modernist, but at the same time holds a rustic coziness associated with hardwood floors.
Our goal is to give young people in distress the safety and sustainability of a permanent place to call home.
On Sunday, July 29, Laurel, Chad and Aero ran 26.2 miles in the San Francisco Marathon!
The below was written by our board member, Chad Upham reflecting on the marathon experience with our founder Laurel Allen Hilbert.
“Laurel Allen Hilbert did amazingly well. He pushed through the wall around 17/18 mile mark, but strained his knee on a down hill from Haight Street into the Lower Haight around mile 21. Nevertheless he persisted, walking steadily the final five miles, even when the surprise bump in the road would cause more pain. At one point he said “My mind wants me to quit, but I’m not going to.” Imagine the amount of extra energy and muscle strength needed to take each step of a marathon as a blind step of faith, trusting the arm you are holding onto, climbing hills you can’t see, surround by the pitter-patter of hundreds of pairs of shoes. Guiding Laurel allowed me to complete my third marathon with barely a thought to my own aches and pains, and a huge sense of responsibility and accomplishment to balance care and coaching to help him cross that finish line. I think the thousands who saw us pass by, or saw this segment on TV, ask themselves how they are taking on something seemingly impossible in their own lives and working to give a little more to others in their community. The marathon is over, but Laurel’s mission to prevent homelessness is not. I told Laurel at the start line “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Please support us by visiting our GoFundMe page! Every contribution counts and brings us that much closer to achieving our goal. Let’s run toward the end of children and youth homelessness in San Francisco, together.
A home is much more than just a roof over your head.
Illustration. Drawn from the point of view of a person looking down at their own hands. The hands are non-specific. They could be a young person’s or an adult’s hands. They are the same color of the negative space and are white and uncolored. The “screen right” hand holds the shape of a house cut out of paper. It’s the iconic symbol—a square with a triangle on the top, with a prototypical window-shape cut out of the center—a square made of four little squares in a grid shape. The “screen left” hand holds a pair of scissors and looks to have just finished cutting out the house shape. Resting below is the paper pieces that remain from the cutting—a piece of paper cut in two, with equal halves of the house shape subtracted from them. Four small square shapes of paper rest on the “screen left” side of the composition, resting on top of the larger scraps of paper. These are window holes that were cut out of the house shape. Also on the far “screen left” side of the image is an Exact-o knife. On the right side of the screen we also see a pencil resting atop the paper. It’s a symbolic image that speaks of manifestation, desire, and aspiration.
A home is a place:
where you can feel safe to let your guard down
where you can catch your breath
where you feel understood and accepted—warts and all
to feel like you belong
to be your authentic self
to discover your gifts and what life has in store for you
where you don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow
to call your own, where no one will suddenly ask you to leave
This is A Dignified Home.
It’s a permanent home where a young person knows in their heart of hearts that they belong.
The youth we help have lived their lives waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop—never feeling safe enough to let their guard down so their healing can commence, never able to unclench and allow themselves to relax—because the specter of rejection has always loomed over their heads—the fearful possibility that at any moment their home will be taken away from them. But that won’t happen with A Dignified Home. A Dignified Home is a safe, stable and sustainable place where young people can live happily ever after.
As a teenager, Founder and CEO Laurel Hilbert came to this country at a disadvantage—not only visually impaired, but also not speaking a word of English. Worst of all he was alone—bereft of family or friends who might have been able to take him into their care and help him fulfill his dream of attending school here.
Caption: Video Part 1 of 4. Founder and CEO of A Dignified Home, Laurel Hilbert, arrived in the United States in August of 2013 as a blind, homeless 17-year-old named Ahmad. His birthplace — Deir al-Zour, in Syria — was in the process of being destroyed by war. He was completely alone and unable to speak or understand English. Almost four years later, Laurel has a job, a green card and a new life as a college student in San Francisco. The journey has included stops in Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles and New York City, and more than a little luck, pluck and determination. Read the full story on TIME.com/asylum-story
The Young People We Help
Our intention is to serve homeless young people in the San Francisco area who have been shunted between different group homes—the unfortunate victims of a sometimes ineffectual homeless care system that fails to recognize the primary need these young people have for stability.
Your support makes us what we are! Our goal is to never let grant requirements force us to have to ask a young person to leave our facility. Instead, we strive to keep all of our funding unconditional and not subject to displacements or quotas. At the core of that philosophy is your help. Please donate today!
You can make a major difference in the lives of our youth by getting involved. With your direct help, A Dignified Home can thrive and your immense impact will create positive change for these young people forever after.