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​WE DO DIFFERENT

We're on a mission to shift the perspective of how we address social services through the language of mental health.

BACKGROUND

Lived Experiences is a nonprofit organization that emerged from the grassroots in 2019 with the sole purpose of aiding vulnerable and marginalized youth in Oceanside, California. By addressing the underline causes of emotional and physical trauma, our organization strives to empower people to lead fulfilling adult lives and foster the growth of strong and supportive communities.

Through our comprehensive and data proven methods, we offer a range of services on a weekly basis. These services are designed to enhance social connections and support for both young individuals and adults. By increasing their understanding of trauma and its impact, we enable participants to navigate their own healing journey effectively. Furthermore, we promote the development of emotional intelligence and effective coping mechanisms, providing them with the tools necessary to improve their overall well-being.

Lived Experiences is committed to improving the quality of life for all those we serve. By utilizing evidence-based approaches and offering wraparound support, we strive to create an environment where participants can grow, heal, and flourish. Our ultimate goal is to equip them with the resilience and skills they need to overcome adversity, paving the way for a brighter future for both themselves and their communities.

MEET OUR FOUNDER

Oscarin Ortega, born and raised in Oceanside, CA, shares a profound connection with the challenges faced by local youth. Having personally experienced early childhood trauma, he intimately understands the hardships they go through. Driven by his own journey, Oscarin took the courageous step of establishing Lived Experiences, a platform dedicated to providing vital support to an underserved population in his community.

During his formative years, Oscarin and his brothers found themselves caught in a destructive cycle of drug addiction, severe poverty, homelessness, and incarceration. However, as he matured, Oscarin embarked on a path of self-discovery, exploring the impact of early childhood trauma. Through this exploration, he came to recognize that trauma is a pervasive force behind the disconnection experienced by the youth in his communities.

Armed with newfound knowledge and empowered by training and mentorship, Oscarin delved into various restorative and therapeutic practices. These approaches played a crucial role in his own healing journey, enabling him to rise above the damage inflicted by his past.

As an adult, Oscarin made it his purpose to provide essential services to young individuals who face similar struggles. His aspiration is to reshape the trajectory of their lives, guiding them towards futures that are productive and prosperous. Through Lived Experiences, Oscarin aims to empower the youth, equipping them with the necessary tools and unwavering support to overcome adversity and flourish.

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"We show value to individuals to create the social change that we want to see.

We're sensitive about how we connect with people, then we move forward."

-Oscarin Ortega, CEO

The
Journey

"The only impossible journey is the one you never begin."  

- Tony Robbins

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​In 2019 we facilitated our first wraparound support group in a basement of a local church.

 

Later that year, within the same facility, we rented space that operated as a youth service center.

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​In 2020, in response to our public health crisis, it was critical that we continued our efforts by launching a mobile food program.

To date, we have distributed over one million pounds of produce to thousands of families across San Diego County.

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In 2021, we launched our Loads of Dignity program by building a first of its kind mobile laundromat trailer in San Diego County.

Through strong partnerships, we’re able to provide free laundry service to unhoused individuals and low-income families. 

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​In 2022, we hosted our first in-person mental health conference at the Star Theatre in Oceanside, CA.

 

Supported by 15 institutions, 12 speakers plus local leaders presented on the importance of trauma to a packed house of 300 attendees.

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