A Compass Family Success Story: Kayla, DeMonte, and Khairo


Kayla and DeMonte became homeless as teenagers due to difficult home situations. They were both connected to Larkin Street Youth Services and met each other while staying in youth shelters. Eventually, they started a relationship and became pregnant with their son, Khairo. With their baby on the way, Kayla and DeMonte moved to a private room at Compass Family Shelter, where they could decompress in a safe and supportive environment while awaiting the birth of their son.

Four months after Khairo’s birth, Kayla and DeMonte moved their family to Compass Clara House, a two-year transitional housing program that would provide them with all the support they would need to overcome homelessness.

As young parents with a long way to go, Kayla and DeMonte needed the constant guidance and support they received at Compass Clara House to reach the goals needed to achieve housing stability, self-sufficiency and well-being. At the time, neither had a driver’s license, a high school diploma, nor a job. But that quickly started to change as the couple was finally able to catch their breath and transition from surviving to thriving.

While at Compass Clara House, they received a host of services, including: intensive case management, parenting classes, couples counseling, individual therapy, outpatient substance abuse treatment, childcare, education and employment coordination, peer support, community events to enjoy themselves, life skills and money management training, nutrition classes, and comprehensive housing search support. Kayla eventually went to City College and received assistance with enrollment and navigating coursework while DeMonte was linked up with CalWORKS' JobsNow training.


By the time Kayla and DeMonte graduated from Compass Clara House in February, both had earned their GEDs and obtained their driver’s licenses. DeMonte obtained a full-time job at a warehouse and Kayla enrolled in college, where she is working toward an AA in Community Health Worker Youth Advocacy while simultaneously working 30 hours a week as a receptionist. Her eventual goal is to get her BA in Social Work or Mental Health. Khairo, started childcare at the Helen Hawk Children’s Center at Compass Clara House when he was a 9-month old infant. He is now graduating to the preschool side and can remain there until he is ready for kindergarten. Khairo is meeting all of his developmental milestones and is doing great. 

Kayla and DeMonte qualified for housing assistance through Larkin Street Youth Services, and with the help of their Compass case managers, they were able to find their own home in Oakland. They will continue to receive support through Compass Aftercare in order to ensure that they have the support and encouragement they need to remain stably housed and moving forward toward their goals.

Congratulations to this young and devoted family for working so hard to make a better life for themselves and their son!

frontpageStacy Webb