Will You StandUp For Kids?
The mission is to end the cycle of youth homelessness throughout the United States.
We do this, every day, in cities across America. We carry out our mission through our volunteers who go to the streets in order to find, stabilize and otherwise help homeless and street kids improve their lives.
If you are a youth in need of assistance, please contact us on our outreach line at 1-888-365-4543.
Young Man Earns GED With the Help of StandUp For Kids - Hampton Roads
At age 14 Blaise was homeless after dropping out of the ninth grade due to circumstances at home. At age 17 he was addicted to drugs and in jail in Syracuse, NY. After his release last October, his brother brought him to Virginia for a second chance at life.
Blaise had trouble staying clean and ended up back on the streets. A talented singer-songwriter, he made money playing guitar for strangers at the oceanfront of Virginia Beach. Exhausted and weary, a friend brought him to the Crow's Nest, a drop-in center run by the Hampton Roads chapter of StandUp For Kids.
Outreach counselor, Mark Stevens, told Blaise he would be there for him when he was ready to make changes in his life. Blaise continued to come to the Crow's Nest week after week building trust and gaining confidence. He played guitar and sang to the other kids and a generous donor even provided him with a new guitar when his was run over by a car.
Mark got the call from Blaise in December that he was ready for help. There was space for him at a local shelter and Blaise started working hard to earn his GED and maintain his sobriety. Just three months later he passed the GED examination. On May 10 he received his GED certificate and preformed a song he wrote for the ceremony entitled My Dream. We are very proud of Blaise for all his hard work.
StandUp and Stand Tall
This is what StandUp For Kids is about. We help each other StandUp.
Volunteers and kids together create a family and unite to help each other StandUp and Stand Tall.
“I can honestly say that if it weren’t for StandUp For Kids, I’d have probably died a junkie on the streets.” -Brian
StandUp For Kids first met Brian in 1995, when he was 15 years old. Brian had hitchhiked out to California from Arkansas to live with his mother, but soon found himself on the streets of San Diego. A group of StandUp For Kids volunteers found Brian sitting outside a coffee shop in downtown and asked him how long it had been since he’d spoken to his family, then let him use the outreach phone to call his father. They also provided him with some food and hygiene products. This was the beginning of a very long relationship between Brian and StandUp For Kids.
Over the next six years, Brian struggled with life on the streets. He became severely addicted to several drugs, most notably meth and heroin, and became very depressed and suicidal.
“The thing is…StandUp was always there for me. Even if I was high, or even if I were doing my best to try to die, they’d always be there with food and supplies and, most importantly, someone to talk to. Sometimes what you need the most is just someone who will listen without judgement.”
In 2001, Brian came to StandUp For Kids and told them that he wanted to get clean. He also revealed that he’d gotten his girlfriend pregnant. StandUp bought him and his girlfriend a Greyhound ticket to her father’s house in Texas. Since the day they boarded that bus in 2001, neither Brian or his (now former) girlfriend have spent a single night on the streets, and Brian has been clean ever since.
A couple of years later, the StandUp For Kids National Office called Brian on the phone. StandUp had kept in touch with Brian, as our staff and counselors had built up a family type relationship with him over the years. When Brian answered, we asked him if he would like to use his experience on the streets to help others understand what it was like. We wanted to hire him to be our National Trainer. He accepted and, since that day, has taken on a variety of roles with StandUp For Kids, including being our IT consultant and helping to maintain our website. Brian now has two kids of his own, including a son who was baptized at a StandUp For Kids outreach center, and is still working with StandUp For Kids on a daily basis.
“StandUp For Kids has been there for me since the day I first met them. Thank you, StandUp, for all that you do, and thank you for allowing me to use my experiences to help others.”
StandUp For Kids and AmazonSmile!
Now, shopping on Amazon can raise money for StandUp For Kids! Whenever you shop on smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to StandUp For Kids.
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service...but now with a charitable contribution.