Youth Homeless Demonstration Project (YHDP) Team Lead, Efren Berrones was born and raised in Houston, Texas and dedicates himself towards developing similar programs that he was involved in as a child. Having lived in a shelter, trailer park, and low-income housing projects, Efren has firsthand experience participating in the very programs that he now works for. Providing support to prevent LGBTQ youth from falling through the cracks has personal significance for Berrones. Growing up in a low-income family, he often had to rely on the local church for financial assistance; however, that support system depended on Berrones living in accordance with the church’s religious principles. After coming out, Efren was no longer able to access the supportive services from the church, and since then has strived to provide services to youth in Hawai’i regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
1:45 PM–2:30 PM Jul 18, 2023 (US - Eastern)