David Ambroz is a best-selling author and a national advocate for poverty, child welfare and queer rights. His memoir, titled “A Place Called Home,” is a personal account of his experiences with poverty and homelessness as a young queer child. David eventually graduated from Vassar College, then UCLA School of Law and later co-founded FosterMore.org, an organization which helps to radically change the perceptions of the foster care system, and thereby outcomes.
As a formerly homeless person, foster youth and now a decades-long advocate for children and families in poverty – in all its forms - I continue the work I began as a teenager to empower the communities I came from.
My name is David Ambroz and today, I’m an Emmy-nominated producer, and a best-selling author. The social-impact work is part of my overall day-to-day career too. Working at Amazon, helping lead community engagement across the west, I’m able to bring my background, passion and full self to a career in corporate social responsibility.
Early in my advocacy work, I helped found and shape an effort newly underway – The Joint Initiative between Lambda Legal and the Child Welfare League of America. The work to change nearly 100 years of practice to a new orientation, namely to support, affirm and love queer children in foster care or delinquency. It was a radical shift in a not too distant time where to be queer was near illegal.
My memoir, “A Place Called Home,” recounts 12 years of homelessness before entering foster care. In some combination of “Forrest Gump,” “Hillbilly Elegy” and “Precious” – I’ve had an impossible and beautiful life. I share the story not to invite gawking, but instead to motivate people to move from empathy to action. With 8.4 million children living in poverty in this country, we cannot wait.
When I was a child, homelessness on the streets of New York City and other East Coast cities was rampant. Often, we slept in shelters. In those early days of the 1980s, as NYC was disintegrating, there was another group there in the shelters; young men dying of AIDS.