From homeless to Amazon executive: David Ambroz shares his story
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT Dec. 12, 2022
David Ambroz experienced homelessness throughout most of his childhood.
Born in New York City, his mother suffered from mental illness and was not properly equipped to raise him or his siblings. Ambroz says he spent most of his time starving and freezing on the streets of Manhattan, surviving on old pizza crusts and sugar packets with few people offering him help or support.
“We never knew what each day would hold,” Ambroz said. “I remember whole days, if not months, with no showers. I barely went to school.”
In the latest episode of “LA Stories,” David Ambroz shares with host Giselle Fernandez his harrowing story of survival. At 12 years old, after a moment where he says his mother almost beat him to death, Ambroz entered the foster care system.
Ambroz says that because he was gay, no foster home would take him, so he was instead placed in a juvenile facility for young criminals, where he says he experienced more abuse and trauma.
Finally, Ambroz found foster parents to give him the love and support he needed and was able to break free from the struggles he faced.
“Holly and Steve took me in, and they got a broken and fractured human being,” said Ambroz. “I wouldn’t be here without there their love. They’re still very much in my life.”
Despite all the hardships he faced, Ambroz went on to college and eventually became a top executive at Amazon. Today, he is considered a national poverty and child welfare expert, advocating on behalf of children in the foster care system and those experiencing homelessness.
Ambroz hopes to change the dialogue around homelessness in order to show society that people living on the streets are human beings who need our help.
“There are thousands of homeless children in LA,” he said. “I can’t believe I live in a country where that’s OK. We’re the city of angels. We can do so much when we decide to.”