DreamCatcher's youth represent a variety of teens that are at-risk, have run away, been thrown away, or are simply homeless. Since opening in 1998, we have sheltered over 1,200 teenagers.

The following success stories represent the wide variety of needs we fulfill and safety-net we provide, on a short-term basis, to stabilize these teens to receive shelter and support services. Last names are not used to protect the identity of the minor.

My name is Joseph. I’m 18 years old and I’ve been involved with DreamCatcher youth support center for about a year now. DreamCatcher has changed my life in a tremendous way. It almost seems like a dream.

I was living with my parents on the streets of Alameda County before I came to DreamCatcher. At the time I was receiving services from the Homeless Youth Collaborative and I told them of my problem. They called DreamCatcher and the shelter had a bed for me. I then had to make a serious decision that would change my life.

I went and told my parents about the shelter and they told me to go, so I wouldn’t have to be on the streets with them. Because of DreamCatcher, I got to finish my education and recently moved into my own apartment. No matter what I do or where I go in life, I will not forget what the center did for me, nor will I ever take it for granted.

From a Parent
It gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to write this letter in support of DreamCatcher's efforts to secure continued funding for their program. It is a small gesture of my appreciation for the tremendous help they gave our daughter.

After she took our car and wrecked it, returning home would have been extremely difficult if not impossible at the time. She was only 14 years old. I was so afraid of what might happen to her. I called shelter after shelter. I was on the phone and the internet for hours. Finally, I located DreamCatcher.

Not only did they give her room and room and board free of cost, but they counseled her, supported her efforts to take BART daily to school…and worked with me to help her find a more permanent place to stay. This extending of kindness was not always met with appreciation and cooperation from her. In fact, she was difficult to work with at times. Nevertheless, the staff was always there for her.

I don't know what we would have done, had we not been blessed with the help and support of the DreamCatcher staff. She was able to stay there until she left for a therapeutic boarding school...

Four months have passed now since she left the DreamCatcher facility to go to boarding school. I am happy to say, that although she had quite a rocky start there, she is now progressing well. She has a "B" average, and is close to completing her freshman year. She writes to us weekly, and I can tell that she has done a lot of reflecting.

But I don't believe we could have gotten to this point without the help that DreamCatcher provided at a very critical time.

Although our experience is one that I would not like to see repeated with any family, the sad truth is, that children every day find themselves without a place to go. The streets are cold and dangerous.

Having DreamCatcher as a refuge, will probably save the lives of many children. It saved our child's life!

My name is Alize and I first came to DreamCatcher last year. A friend had told me about it and I followed her there. I had run away from home because my dad had a big drug addiction and I left because of that and also that he had been molesting me ever since I was three years old.

I ran because my mama left me with him because he was abusing her. I was 16. When I came to DreamCatcher to get away from all this, Dwayne and Jina took me under their wings and I felt I could ask for anything I needed. DreamCatcher helped me a lot. They gave me support and helped me get my life straight. I got into school and started feeling better about myself.

Now I’m older and I’m working and am living at home. I’m glad DreamCatcher was a part of my life and I thank them for being there when I needed them. Thank you DreamCatcher.

I arrived at DreamCatcher when I was aged out of foster care and terminated from Job Corps. I did not have anywhere to stay. DreamCatcher let me stay in their shelter and hooked me up with resources.

While at DreamCatcher I received my Driver’s license and my G.E.D. I liked staying there. It is a very friendly and home-like environment. I would recommend DreamCatcher to any youth in need of help or support. Upon leaving DreamCatcher, I am moving into my first apartment. Thank you DreamCatcher!

My name is Greg and I’m originally from Seattle, Washington. My life was very stressful. When my dad got out of prison, we moved to Oakland where the only place we had to stay was at my aunt’s house where I had to sleep on the floor. When the Bay Bridge was shut down, she told me to leave because she wasn’t comfortable with me there anymore. That’s how I ended up at DreamCatcher.

While I was here, I met some very interesting people. One of them was Crystal. She’s a really great person. She and I have had some very interesting conversations. She told me a lot of deep stuff. She got thinking a lot about smoking. She is the reason I stopped smoking. Also I met Joe at DreamCatcher. He got me thinking about being a psychiatrist, some one who looks at the real picture.

After I left DreamCatcher I moved into a transitional living program, but I still come back to the support center. It’s probably the greatest thing to happen to me in my life. DreamCatcher, that is.

DreamCatcher has helped me in a very positive way. Since coming here, I have accomplished the most important things in this period of my life. I finished high school while going through a lot of struggles in my life.

If it wouldn’t have been for DreamCatcher and the help I got from the staff, I don’t know where I’d be right now. I probably wouldn’t be speaking to you right now. Thanks.

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