Impact Stories

Meet Xochtil

Xochtil, 22, is thriving in her adult life as an activist for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. But the journey to get to a place of success hasn’t been easy. Xochtil, who entered foster care at 17, shares, 

“Throughout my life, I have been homeless, displaced, pushed out, and neglected.”  

Upon entering the My First Place program, Xochtil asked for selective youth housing where participants take the lead on finding and leasing their own apartments but can access all the supports of our My First Place program. Xochtil stays current on rent payments, maintains a tidy living space, and carefully manages her expenses. 

Inspired by her community and the next generation, Xochtil now serves as the Youth Commissioner of the Alameda County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission. Drawing from her lived experience, she advocates for rehabilitative programming, restorative justice actions, and guaranteed income for foster youth. Xochtil worked with former foster youth in the Net Growth Movement to successfully advocate for Alameda County to develop its first guaranteed basic income (GBI) pilot program for transition-age foster youth. Thanks to Xochtil’s advocacy, the county supervisors approved $2.8 million for a two-year GBI pilot program to provide $1,000/month to 90 foster youth!  

Xochtil credits the staff at First Place who gave her “an opportunity, which is giving a young person a second chance and allowing investment to happen for the young person to feel empowered, to feel wanted, and not neglected.” 


Trauma-Informed Care in Action at First Place 

For foster youth who have experienced trauma and instability, the transition to adulthood is a pivotal journey that can be […]

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In the Media

Share the Spirit: After years in the foster system, a young woman gets a room of her own

With First Place for Youth in her corner, Jayla Lackaff is studying video game design at College of Alameda

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Research & Publications

2023 Annual Report

In 2023, First Place for Youth and our network partners in Massachusetts, New York, Mississippi, and Cincinnati served 1,660 young […]

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