Ashley was born and raised in San Diego. She was beautiful, petite and spunky. She also suffered from mental illness, which caused moodiness and sadness. Ashley was fiercely independent, and was determined to “march to the beat of her own drum.”
Against our wishes, she left home at age 17 with only a tote bag of clothes and her cell phone. We were terrified, as she spiraled into the unstable, risky and dangerous life of living on the streets. Unable to manage life’s stressors, she stopped taking her prescribed medications and began self-medicating with illicit drugs. This dangerous behavior led her to experience drug-induced psychoses, often lasting for months at a time.
We never gave up Hope and utilized every resource possible to try to get her the help she needed. We continually tried to save Ashley from her poor choices. Eventually, she was able to secure a tiny studio apartment for a few months and we visited her often. When we went to meet Ashley at her apartment, we brought her clothing and basic necessities. Her eyes would always light up when she saw the clothes, even if they were “gently worn”. Clothes were always one of Ashley’s favorite things!
Tragically, on February 24, 2021, during another terrible psychotic episode, she was killed while attempting to cross the freeway. Ashley was only 25 years old.
We share Ashley’s story to give a glimpse into the life of one innocent victim, living homeless on our city streets. Now, Ashley’s Hope Foundation strives to help others who are homeless for any reason, whether by their own choice or otherwise. Ashley’s story is much like many other individuals that have their own ideas about how to make a life for themselves — away from their families and any support that is offered.
All people, no matter their situation in life, must be treated with love, kindness and respect — that was Ashley’s Hope — and our goal.
Ashley’s Hope is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping homeless and those less fortunate in the San Diego County area.