Impact Stories

Our clients are the heart and soul of Toberman, they are the reason we do this work in the community. Here are a few example of individuals who have shared their Impact Story with our team.

Santiago – Gang Intervention Program

Santiago lost his father right after he turned nine years old. He was raised by his mother who was working hard to create a good life for her son, despite financial struggles. Santiago began hanging out with a group of friends in the streets who were causing problems and getting involved in gang violence. At just 15-years old, Santiago was shot and ended up in the hospital with a gunshot wound.

“Meeting my Toberman Case Manager has saved my life.” – Santiago

While in the hospital, he met his Toberman Neighborhood Center Case Manager, who was able to help guide Santiago in a different direction. He focused on completing his court mandated community service hours and finishing school. Now, at 18-years old, he is working on finding a job and his new focus in life – his baby daughter. Santiago says the best thing about making these life changes has been that he finally feels safe and no longer needs to look over his shoulder, worrying for his life.

Mario – Gang Prevention Program

Mario is 14 years old and has already been arrested twice for gang involvement. His family has been homeless for a year, living out of their car while his mother works two jobs to support him and his sister and save for an apartment. Mario was angry and looking for a sense of belonging when gang members invited him to hang out. Scared and unsure what to do, Mario’s mother reached out to our Gang Prevention staff. The Toberman staff began working with Mario’s mom to come up with a plan to get her a place to live, help obtain her GED and get her a better paying job. Mario also made a plan to work on staying in school and supporting his mom. The Toberman staff first secured housing at a hotel while they waited for permanent housing to become available. Mario was able to shop for new clothes and shoes so that he had more confidence in school and didn’t feel the need to steal. Mario’s mom has now completed her GED and Mario continues to meet with his Toberman mentors to continue his path towards a bright future.

Charlotte & Lucas – FamilySource Center

Two young children, Charlotte and Lucas, 7 and 8 years old, were referred to Toberman by their school because they were living out of the car. Their mother was battling cancer, going to chemotherapy once a week, all working a full-time job and a single parent. She struggled to find permanent housing and had been living out of the car for months, moving from place to place. Teachers noticed Charlotte and Lucas were falling behind in school. After being connected with Toberman the children received support and mentorship through the after-school program. Charlotte thrived during the painting classes. Lucas was signed up for the gang prevention program so he would stay out of trouble despite the violence he saw in his community. They no longer had to worry about food with the Toberman food pantry. A case manager helped their mom get a job interview and since she did not have a lot of belongings, our thrift store was able to find a professional outfit. Thankfully, she got the job and at the same time, Toberman found the family permanent housing. Charlotte and Lucas were so excited about their new apartment and insisted the case manager come by the day the moved in. She did, and brought multiple toys, clothing, and other items from their list along with gas gift cards and food gift cards for the Mom. The mother told their case worker, “you have given my children back their childhood and we will never forget how you have changed our lives.”

Jose- Gang Intervention Program

Two years ago, Jose was shot leaving him partially paralyzed and unable to walk. Already a part of the Gang Intervention program, we continued to support Jose and his family. With the help of his Crisis Intervention Worker, Jose focused on school. He graduated high school with a 4.0 and applied to a variety of colleges, including UCLA and CSU Fullerton. UCLA offered Jose a scholarship that would cover ½ of his tuition, but he chose CSU Fullerton so he would not have much debt after graduation. Currently a student at CSU Fullerton, Jose is studying Business Administration with a focus in Accounting as he wants to one day assist professional basketball players with their finances. He has recently started to have feelings in his legs and is currently walking with braces! With much perseverance, Jose will succeed in life!