The mission of STANDUP FORKIDS is to help homeless and at-risk youth. Everyday homeless youth face obstacles that most of us cannot comprehend. Where will I have my next meal? When can I shower? Where will I sleep tonight? STANDUP FOR KIDS helps homeless youth tackle some of their everyday obstacles and work towards a life off the streets. From basic necessities such as food, clothing, and hygiene to resources for housing, employment, and education, STANDUP FOR KIDS counselors use an open, straightforward and caring counseling approach to help kids reach their full potential.
STANDUP FOR KIDS also developed the Don’t Run Away Program which targets youth at risk for running away. The Don’t Run Away Program is used to educate elementary and junior high students on the different resources and options available to remove themselves from abusive situations and deter them from running away. The Don’t Run Away Program is developing within established programs and extends to local clubs at high schools and universities across America.
Who does STANDUP FOR KIDS help?
STANDUP FOR KIDS helps homeless and at-risk youths age 21 and younger. There are currently an estimated 1.3 million homeless and street kids in America. Children makeup 27 percent—the fastest growing segment—of the U.S. homeless population.
STANDUP FOR KIDS also targets at-risk youth in elementary and junior high schools through the Don’t Run Away Program. These youth are presented ways to remove themselves from an abusive situation and find other options to running away.
Does STANDUP FOR KIDS have any religious or political affiliations?
No, STANDUP FOR KIDS is an independent, 501 (c) (3) national non-profit charitable organization and does not have any religious or political affiliations. STANDUP FOR KIDS helps kids regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, or background.
What services does STANDUP FOR KIDS offer?
STANDUP FOR KIDS supplies basic necessities such as food, clothing, and personal hygiene, in addition to a wide array of services, including assistance with housing, education, vocational development, counseling, health and medical services, transportation, and legal assistance. Laundry services, hot meals, mail and message services are also available in our programs that operate an Outreach Center. An Outreach Center is a safe place where homeless youth and street kids can relax for a few hours. Services vary by program but generally an Outreach Center offers laundry facilities, showers, counseling, computer/internet use, etc.
In addition to Street Outreach and Outreach Center services, volunteers conduct life-skills training classes for kids who graduate to the STANDUP FOR KIDS Apartment Support Program. These classes cover topics such as budgeting, banking, apartment cleanliness and safety, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, nutrition, and other topics important in maintaining a safe and comfortable home.
What type of training is required to become a STANDUP FOR KIDS volunteer?
Volunteers are required to submit a Background Investigation and undergo the STANDUP FOR KIDS Training Program which consists of eight, two hour classes. The Training Program educates volunteers on the hardships that homeless and street kids endure every day. Many of our kids have run away from abusive situations, physical, mental, and sexual, and it is necessary to understand these situations in addition to the obstacles, problems, and mentality of street life.
What can volunteers expect?
The number of kids helped by a local program will fluctuate as well as the services provided. Services depend on the program structure and may include counseling, help with school work, employment, and housing.
For example, if your local program has an Outreach Center, you may help a kid apply for jobs and locate transitional housing programs. Some programs offer both an Outreach Center and send counselors to the streets for Street Outreach. During Street Outreach you may counsel a kid and provide them with a food and hygiene pack. Apartment Support counselors may provide more life-skill services however all counselors can expect to be the first line of defense for crisis counseling, whether on the streets, Outreach Center, or kid’s apartment.
How does STANDUP FOR KIDS operate?
STANDUP FOR KIDS is run almost entirely by volunteers and employs a small office staff in Atlanta, Georgia. The National Office staff manages the daily operations of STANDUP FOR KIDS such as bookkeeping, marketing materials, national funding and a variety of other tasks.
Volunteers fill a variety of positions, including Executive Director (or Co-Executive Directors) and leadership roles. Since 1990, STANDUP FOR KIDS volunteers have performed almost a million hours of community service, conducted more than 100,000 counseling sessions, and provided more than 1,000,000 meals to homeless and street kids and at-risk youth!
Where does STANDUP FOR KIDS have programs?
Since 1990 STANDUP FOR KIDS has established forty-three programs in more than 20 states throughout America. As STANDUP FOR KIDS approaches its 20th year, we look forward to establishing programs in Illinois, New Mexico, Tennessee and Virginia.
How is STANDUP FOR KIDS funded?
STANDUP FOR KIDS relies on the generosity of individuals, businesses, and organizations to fund the operations of the organization. As a 501(c) (3) national non-profit charitable organization, monetary donations, Gift-In-Kind (GIK), grants, and endowments are used to operate the national organization and local programs. All contributions, including GIK, benefit the kids and are appreciated.
Has STANDUP FOR KIDS been recognized for
STANDUP FOR KIDS has been recognized by the George Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, U.S. Justice Department, Colorado Secretary of State, and the Arizona Governor’s Office for Children. STANDUP FOR KIDS has also received the JCPenney "Golden Rule Award" and various corporate and community service awards.