September 15, 2014 | KPBS | Monica Medina
When Myra Curiel aged out of the foster care system and enrolled in Casa de Amparo’s New Directions transitional housing program in Oceanside, she received a welcome basket.
"I wasn't really expecting anything at all," says the 2014 Hispanic Heritage Month honoree. "I had a small apartment with a roommate, and I arrived with very little--some clothes and books, two towels, a blanket and a little bit of gas in my car. One of the staff, showing me around said, 'Here's a basket for you to help you out.' It was filled with shampoo, dishes and utensils, toiletries, laundry detergent, a comforter, everything I needed. That was very nice."
Curiel, who is 22, assumed every foster youth moving into transitional housing receives such a basket. Not so. She soon learned just how fortunate she was.