Every year since 1990, we have the privilege of working with hundreds if not thousands of young people under the age of 25. We are operating our mission in 18 cities in 11 states and the nation’s capital.
We provide basic and ongoing resources in the form of Street Outreach (in 17 of 18 our locations), Outreach Centers (9 of 18 locations), Mentoring (8 of 18 locations), and Apartment Support (7 of 18 locations). Within and outside of these services, we work tirelessly to assess youth in need, connect them to resources that can help them in their times of need, and help them develop plans to get out of their often untenable or unjust situations and move toward much greater stability.
When our youth find housing or otherwise reach the goals they have identified as meaningful, we continue to provide support by helping them adjust to the real demands of maintaining an apartment, a source of income, their health, and other important markers of well-being.
Our most prized asset is our volunteers. We average 50,000 volunteer hours per year. Some work behind the scenes as unsung heroes and others are out front, serving as counselors and helping youth map out plans to get out of the cyclical nature of homelessness they are caught in.
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness has established four core outcomes for youth that we serve:
- Stable housing, including a safe and reliable place to call home.
- Permanent connections, including ongoing attachments to families, communities, schools, and other positive social networks.
- Education and employment, including high performance in and completion of educational and training activities, especially for younger youth, and starting and maintaining adequate and stable employment, particularly for older youth.
- Social and emotional well-being, including the development of skills, attitudes, and behaviors that equip a young person to succeed across multiple areas of daily life such as school, work, relationships, and community.
It is our duty and honor to ensure that young people have access to each of these outcomes. Our real-life stories of engagement with youth we serve demonstrate that our ongoing, trusting relationships help facilitate many of these outcomes.
In 2018, we are working with our Board and community experts to examine how we measure and track these outcomes systematically, and how we use them to improve our service delivery models.
Read more in this section to learn about how our core programs and services help youth meet these outcomes and get out of the spiraling cycle of homelessness.