Christopher L. Smart

Dear Horses in the Hood,

Dear Kathy, On behalf of A Place Called Home and the members who attended Horses in the Hood 2004, we would like to thank you for providing a life changing experience for ten of our youth.

APCH provides at-risk youth with a secure, positive family environment where they can regain hope and belief, earn trust and self-respect, and learn skills to lead a productive lifestyle free of the gangs, drugs and poverty that surround them. Over the past eleven years, APCH has evolved into a model youth facility that has become an icon of this community.

The buzz around APCH is that Horses in the Hood (HHLA) is the bomb! The kids are overjoyed; the staff of HHLA and the horses (Max, JB, Bam Bam, and the rest) created a connection with our children that will follow them throughout their lives. For the past two years HHLA has made it possible for young people from the streets of South Central Los Angeles to connect with a positive, trusting, fun-loving environment that they will be able to embrace and tear down the walls of mistrust.

Our children learned to trust, respect and take care of horses. The miracle is, that education of horses they received also transcends to treating other animals with care and attention (including humans). One member Victoria Onate said, “The horses are very friendly and what we feel, they also feel. Horses are just like humans, they have differences like we do.” Every member’s most exciting moment was the trail ride and making the horses jump. When the children had the opportunity to go trotting with the horse, they said that it gave them a rush. Wow! What a positive rush rather than dodging bullets.

We are completely overjoyed with this relationship and hope that we can continue to connect our children with horses. Kathy, you have created an oasis for inner-city youth to expand beyond their surroundings and learn that people outside of their environment cares. Thanks to you and your staff for your support.

  • Sincerely,
  • Christopher L. Smart, Vice President/ Programs