Please join us for our next VOICES speaker, David Ambroz, on October 19 at 7:00. Here is some compelling information from his publisher:

“A Place Called Home will take your breath away…You will fall in love with David Ambroz, his beautifully-told, gut-wrenching story, and his great big heart.”—Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle.

There are 2.5 million homeless children in America today, and we’re not doing enough about it. In A PLACE CALLED HOME: A MEMOIR (Legacy Lit / Hachette; September 13, 2022) award-winning child welfare advocate David Ambroz writes about his first 11 years growing up homeless in and around New York City and his subsequent years in foster care, offering a window into what so many kids living in poverty experience every day.

For David and his two siblings, their mother’s battle with paranoid schizophrenia brings with it poverty, violence, and instability. They travel through New York and neighboring areas seeking shelter; they find it in train stations, 24-hour diners, anywhere that’s warm and dry. They bathe in public restrooms and steal food to quell their hunger. When David is placed in foster care, it feels at first like salvation but soon proves to be just as unsafe for him, his burgeoning homosexuality an easy target for others’ cruelty.      

In the face of this deprivation and abuse, David harnesses an inner grit to escape the all-too-familiar outcome for a kid like him. He finds hope and opportunity in libraries, schools, and the occasional kind-hearted adult. Through hard work and unwavering resolve, he is able to get a scholarship to Vassar College, his first step out of poverty. He later graduates from UCLA Law with a vision of changing the laws that affect children in poverty.

A PLACE CALLED HOME is a heart-wrenching yet inspiring story, depicting childhood poverty and homelessness as it is experienced by so many young people.  It’s at once a gripping personal account of deprivation—how one boy survived it, and ultimately thrived—and a resounding call from the grown-up David, now a nationally recognized child welfare advocate, for us all to move from empathy to action.

David Ambroz is a national poverty and child welfare expert and advocate. He was recognized by President Obama as an American Champion of Change. He currently serves as the Head of Community Engagement (West) for Amazon, coordinating with non-profits and community leaders for social good. Previously he led Corporate Social Responsibility for Walt Disney Television, and served as the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, and as a California Child Welfare Councilmember. After growing up homeless and then in foster care, he graduated from Vassar and later from UCLA School of Law (J.D.). He is a foster dad and lives in Los Angeles, CA.

“A story destined to end in tragedy that magically rewards an indomitable determination to succeed. Beautifully written.”—Ted Koppel

“A Place Called Home will take your breath away. It’s a must-read for anyone who’s looked at a raggedy street family and asked, “Who are those people?” It’s also for everyone who cares about “those people.” You will fall in love with David Ambroz, his beautifully-told, gut-wrenching story, and his great big heart.”—Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

“David Ambroz faced seemingly insurmountable challenges his entire life and emerged with the grace and wisdom to tell the story. His dreams of a better life via education carried him through childhood abuse, homelessness, foster care, and finally to adulthood, where he leveraged his against-all-odds success to advocate for children living in poverty and foster care. This book is an inspiration to anyone who has encountered hardships, encouraging us to tackle them head-on with courage and determination.”—Madeline Di Nonno, President & CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

In addition to his story, Ambroz can speak to the following topics in interviews:
—What people get right and get wrong about childhood poverty
—How to create ground-up change in the foster care system
—Ways to encourage more educated, middle-class families to foster
—Effective ways anyone can help improve the lives of foster kids
—How his childhood experience with homelessness shaped him—and how he managed to not only survive, but to thrive in adulthood. 

Click here for more information.

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