Ashley Allen | GIVING BACK
Paying it forward. This is a belief that Ashley Allen lives by because she has been blessed by others. She is grateful to those who have helped her along the way because now she is living a full life with “a great job, a loving partner who was a longtime friend who always stood by me, and a very sweet disabled dog I’m lucky enough to spend time with every day.” However, things were not always this stable. Her homeless situation began when she experienced a bad breakup in Northern California and returned to Riverside without a job, unable to afford to renew her lease, and no family or friends willing to support her.
To keep moving forward, she called 311 to get connected to resources, which led her to our Community Shelter. She stayed there in February-April 2020 and credits the staff for helping her to regain hope. “My experience at the shelter was life-changing. It gave me enough stability to continue working toward housing, employment, and mental health treatment. As a transgender woman, I was accepted and treated with dignity and respect. I was never pushed to engage in religious activities.” Before leaving the shelter, she secured a job and eventually became housed. She believes that what made the biggest impact on her while staying at the shelter was “Having a place to sleep at night and a warm meal.”
To support our efforts, she gave a generous donation in March 2021 to make a difference in someone else’s life since she was shown unforgettable kindness during a very challenging time in her life. “There’s never enough help. As someone who was helped, I believe in paying that forward.” Each day she counts her blessings and has a positive outlook on her future, which she inspires others to follow. “Things can and do get better, but it’s not easy and this country does not do enough to help those of us who have faced housing, employment, and mental health challenges. The key is to keep trying and retain your humor and humanity. Never forget that you are as worthy of love, kindness, and assistance as any other person. If you are helped, help others in turn.”
Mr. S | EMPLOYED
Mr. S and his sons are pictured here with our Employment Pipeline Manager, Sharon. Working through our program, Mr. S secured a job and is working his way back to sustainability.
Mr. Stovall | HOUSED
Mr. Stovall had been living on the streets for over 20 years. We were able to help him secure housing. Now he can focus on rebuilding his life.