Ettie Lee Youth & Family Services
First hand stories, written by our volunteers, staff, clients or donors, are an authentic way to show the human impact of the work we do. 

September 2016

Bruce C., 12 years old, was very scared and in rage with the whole world – feelings he had every right to after what life had put him through. Bruce and his younger five siblings were removed from their parents due to domestic violence and substance use. And to make matters worse all of the siblings were placed in different foster homes. Ettie Lee provided love and care for him at the Diamond L home for just about 2 months. During that time he opened up and felt comfortable enough to talk about his rage. Unfortunately his rage was out of control and his social worker determined that he would benefit from a higher level of care. We very much wanted to continue to work with him, but we could not provide the 24 hour one-on-one watch for him that he needed. Once Bruce was living in his new home, we received the ultimate feedback from his social
worker who remarked that she would refer other clients to Ettie Lee.

August 17, 2016

Mario G., age 17 reunified with his grandfather in July 2016. When Mario came to live with us at the Mt. Jurupa home in February 2016 he had a lengthy criminal history -- robbery, possession of ammunition, grand theft auto and drug use. He also had a history of running away from home and other group homes. He really struggled at first, but that was normal and understandable. He had to get adjusted, feel the warmth, the support and security he had with his “Team” before settling down and opening up. Within four months, he was on the right track. The team ( Probation Officer, Social Worker, Therapist, Child Care Worker, Rehab Specialist, Drug and Alcohol Counselor) supported him as he improved at school, then he changed the way he dressed and presented himself – sharing that he wanted to change his look and style, and that he didn’t want to “run with hommies any more”. He made up his mind--he wanted to go back home to grandpa and volunteer in church, where he “could be with family and feel great.” Prior to going home he reminded us that he will never forget his “Ettie Lee” family. Was he perfect when he left? No, but when he cursed, he would catch himself, and with a smile, exclaim, “my bad, I guess I still need to work on language.” This is awareness! This is success! In his last Team meeting, Mario’s grandfather happily shared that he was happy and proud to have him back and remarked that he was certain that this time round, it is going to work!
August 5, 2016
came from a broken home when I was 13 years old. After spending my life with numerous stepfathers who were physically and emotionally brutal to us, I was placed in the Ettie Lee home in Fontana in 1969. My experience with living beside my new brothers (15 of us lived there) who were from different races, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds assisted me to become the man who I am today. Learning to live and get along with others, and how to live in a family environment were lessons that had lifelong effects. I am now 60 years old with two children and six grandchildren. I work in administration at a community college and have been in higher education for the past 23 years. Thank you Ettie Lee for showing me love when I didn’t even know what love was.”

David Pearse

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Posted by Joe Kuban on 06-Apr-2020 at 17:20:11 EST
Subject: Mr.

A former foster child, age 6-18. Residing in many foster homes as a young child to boys homes as a teenager. Ettie Lee Homes was different. Became a resident at Robertson's Boys Home, attended Beaumont High. Stayed until I moved to the Emancipation Home in North Hollywood. There, I attended continuation school while learning independent learning skills. <br><br>I was blessed to have been accepted to call Robertson's my home including the North Hollywood Emancipation Group Home. Making new friends, achieving my weekly behavioral goals and more. Clayton Downey, Juaquin Shelton were wonderful people including Mr. Huey that was my counselor at Robertson's after Ms. Carolyn Taggert left to become a social worker with DCFS.

Posted by Brian Monterrozo on 06-Mar-2017 at 08:37:40 EST
Subject: A sincere THANK YOU!

My time there was a short 7 months, but the experience changed my life for the better. I'm now 26 years old, married, and just bought a home in Colorado! Prior to moving to Mt.Jurupa I was getting myself prepared to go to Prison, as it were the thing to do.... The staff at Mt. Jurupa and Pomona school changed my way of thinking, DRAMATICALLY. So with that being said, I never really got a chance to thank all the people at the Mt.Jurupa home, and the school staff in Pomona. For those of you that remember me or not, THANK YOU!

Posted by Ettie Lee on 14-Jun-2010 at 08:48:40 EST
Subject: Why We Work At Ettie Lee

Brian* was 16 ½ when his family begged the judge to place their child in a treatment facility where his problem behaviors could be addressed on a daily basis. He arrived at our Mount Jurupa group home and was assessed as needing mental health and drug and alcohol services right away. Additionally he needed to make up school credits. He had a choice. Ettie Lee staff would be there to support him if he was willing to do the hard work it would take for him to change his life. During his time with Ettie Lee Brian he took part in more than 72 drug and alcohol sessions and had more than 35 individual and family therapy sessions. He attended school daily and stayed drug free. While in placement, Brian’s best friend died from a gunshot wound. Brian remarked that, “That could have been me because we were always hanging out together.” Prior to leaving Ettie Lee, Brian’s family moved to a safer neighborhood. There, Brian is reported to be happy, drug free, in school and getting acclimated in his new neighborhood.

Posted by Ettie Lee on 11-Jun-2010 at 16:29:34 EST
Subject: Why We Work At Ettie Lee

The therapist at our Waterflow Home wrote me about Manny (not his real name) a couple of days ago. It seems that Manny came to Ettie Lee with such a good attitude that he became a very good role model for the other boys. He would step in to correct others’ behavior and the other young men really looked up to him. The other young men even went to him for advice. Manny passed all his drug screenings and even earned the honor room at the home. At school he completed 100 hours of community service in less than a month and earned many school credits toward his graduation. Manny was with Ettie Lee for five months, from August 5 to January 28. Prior to leaving Ettie Lee Manny had a plan and wanted to change. He knew he had choices – no more gang involvement, move out of the area and go college. Our staff said he will take DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) with him and keep it on the inside. Manny turned 18 the day before he left Ettie Lee. The therapist Laurie says we can call Manny….We will. And we’ll keep you up to date on his status.