WE DO DIFFERENT
We're on a mission to shift the perspective of how we address social services through the language of mental health.
Lived Experiences is a grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2019 to help at-risk and disconnected youth in Oceanside, California overcome emotional and physical trauma so that they may live rewarding adult lives and build healthy, supportive communities.
Our weekly services utilize evidence-based approaches and wraparound support to provide youth and adult participants with increased social connectivity; increased awareness and understanding of trauma and its effects in their lives; increased capacity to heal from trauma; enhanced emotional literacy and coping skills; and to improve their quality of life.
MEET OUR FOUNDER
Oscarin Ortega was born and raised in Oceanside, CA, Oscarin Ortega created Lived Experiences to provide critical support for an underserved population of local youth whose challenges he knew firsthand. Oscarin himself was a victim of early childhood trauma.
At an early age, alongside his brothers, he found himself headed down a destructive path of drug addiction, severe poverty, homelessness, and incarceration.
Later in life, Oscarin began to learn about the effects of early childhood trauma and came to recognize that trauma is a common cause of youth disconnection in Oceanside. Through training and mentoring, he learned about various restorative and therapeutic practices and approaches that could help him overcome the damage of his past.
As an adult, Oscarin made it his mission to provide young people who are suffering as he did with the essential services that can change the trajectory of their lives and lead them to productive futures.
"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 only impossible journey is the one you never begin."
- Tony Robbins
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.
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.
In 2021, we launched our Loads of Dignity program by building a first of its kind mobile laundromat trailer in San Diego County.