People We See: Meet Noa Serna

In this feature, Association CEO John Hawkins introduces you to people you see every day,
but you might not know who they are. The Club reminds you that we all have names and stories to tell.

Meet Noa Serna

Date of interview: Dec. 7, 2022.

Location of interview: Third and Spring Streets downtown.

Birthday: Aug. 25, 1995

Birthplace: “Long Beach.”

Moved to LA: “I was born here.” (Long Beach)

Current location: Sleeping over a subway grate. “My tent was stolen, and I want to use the $20 you gave me to buy a new one.”

Family: “I was raised by foster parents, who I thought were my birth parents. I had more foster parents, too, and I don’t know who my real parents are.”

Favorite candy: Snickers

Favorite food: Maruchan noodles

Education: “I dropped out of high school in ninth grade. I’m surprised I made it that far.”

Focus: “I did not like school at all. I was only interested in girls.”

Incarceration: “I was always in trouble ever since I was a kid. I’ve been in jail many times. When I was 11, I stabbed one of my foster mom’s boyfriends,” he alleged. “The boyfriend lived, and I got hurt probably more than the boyfriend. I ran away after that.”

Advice for 16-year-olds: “Focus on money and what makes you happy. Don’t worry about other people; do what you have to do to survive.”

Make a wish: “No more poor, and no more poverty.”

Association CEO John Hawkins and Mark DeLon.

The Club gave Noa toiletries, food, $20 and bottled water. He had just had his wallet stolen and was grateful for the gifts to help him buy food.

The interview was conducted by John Hawkins, CEO, Los Angeles City Employees Association.