Anthony Serrano, age 27, embodies resilience. He's made drastic changes in his life to adapt and thrive in spite of after his challenging childhood and struggles with alcohol abuse that eventually led to incarceration and homelessness.
He became a foster child at 6 months old and never lived anywhere for more than two years at a time his entire life. His parents, incarcerated shortly after his birth, had little to no interaction with Anthony as he grew up in homes all across Silicon Valley. Anthony had no one to rely on when he left the foster care system as a young adult. He went through many dark periods of alcohol abuse, homelessness, and eventually got into trouble with the law. Ultimately he was arrested and served 18 months. After being released, he reconnected with his birth mother and was allowed to stay with her and her significant other at the time. Their domestic issues and eventual separation drove him back to the streets, again on his own.
Having always dreamed of a stable life, income, and support system, Anthony left his mother's home more determined than ever to create a better life. A challenging task in the expensive Silicon Valley community, he has been living out of his car ever since.
Fortunately for Anthony, while he working towards achieving his goals of employment and a better future, he stumbled upon the support system he needed to succeed. Anthony joined the YMCA community in December of 2019 through a program called the Safe Car Park. In alliance with Winter Faith Collaborative, an interfaith movement formed to serve, shelter and advocate for the houseless in Santa Clara County, the Y provides a safe place for Anthony and others to take care of their basic necessities with daily access to restroom and shower facilities. Individuals who are currently living out of their cars are prescreened and provided a safe parking lot each night for shelter.
Anthony is now 15 months sober and employed at a local restaurant. Grateful to the Y for providing him a place where he can bathe before heading to work, he aspires to become a full member of the Y, which he has grown to love as his safe space and a place to call home - as he saves for a home of his own.