Family and Children's Association helps give shelter to homeless young adults on LI
Homeless among young people is up more than 20% in Nassau County due to the opioid epidemic, the COVID-19 pandemic, the recession and rent increases.
Trinity Soto, 20, currently lives in a transitional home in Freeport run by the Family and Children's Association.
"You take COVID, you take the recession, you almost have the perfect storm, you have a pre-existing problem, and it's gotten worse, so the numbers have grown," says Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds.
Soto battled depression, an eating disorder and anxiety during the pandemic.
She made it to the transitional home after escaping a family struggle and a verbally abusive relationship.
"There's only so much someone can take before you really can't anymore," Soto says.
She left home and went couch to couch until her friend helped her get a job as a camp counselor.
Soto still could not afford a place on her own on Long Island. She says her camp director introduced her to the Family and Children's Association.
The Family and Children's Association runs four residencies like the one in Freeport for homeless youth.
"There's a kitchen, there's a couch, it felt like a normal home," Soto says "For me mentally, I know where I am, I know what I'm here for."
The Family and Children's Association does have rules for young people living in their housing, which includes getting a job and going to school.
Reynolds says they want to prepare people not just for tomorrow, but for the rest of their lives.
Soto says her long-term goal is to save money and hopefully be able to afford a place of her own.