A year of highlights from Eddy Ameen, PhD, National Board Chair
Your support and involvement in our mission has helped make 2017 a standout year for StandUp For Kids.
Our central responsibility is to our nation’s young people faced with homelessness, whether temporary or longer term. No matter the circumstances that got them there. No matter the work that needs to be done to help them transition them into safe, stable chapters of their lives. We are deeply humbled by this responsibility, and held fiercely to it through the political tumult of 2017. When some of our youth felt unwelcome, we stood taller to welcome them.
In 2017, we worked with over 2,200 youth for the first time in 17 active programs around the United States while continuing to serve the thousands of young people who are already bonded with our Street Outreach workers, school-based Mentors, and Outreach Center counselors. We gave out over 19,700 meals, assisted 715 youth with employment and education training, and helped over 460 transition into housing and stay there through Apartment Support. When safe, we helped many youth also return to their families. In fact, we provided over 36,000 instances of support across our network, translating to 100 acts of helping per day, 365 days per year. True to history, our volunteers gave over 44,000 hours of their time and serve as the backbone of our organization.
At the local level, our accomplishments tell the story of dedicated volunteers and staff who never lose sight of the potential of our young people. Atlanta helped see 30 youth mentees graduate high school and received the Partner of the Year award from a school district. Chicago opened their Outreach Center a third night each week, secured three grants, and served 85 youth per week. DC served 60 kids every Monday in 2017 through Outreach Center services, and volunteer Azhar Ravji won a national service award. Denver served 2,877 hot four-course meals, gave out 1,442 pairs of socks, and performed Street Outreach every Sunday, rain or snow. Hampton Roads helped young people through drug overdoses and assisted young families in securinghousing. Houston doubled the number of kids it helped through Apartment Support. Olympia found full time jobs for four young people and helped 10 put roofs over their heads. Orange County won six grants (to perform Street Outreach in five cities, and to run an entrepreneurial academy) and helped nearly 40% more youth over 2016.
Meanwhile, San Antonio received numerous community stewardship awards and partnered with an organization that built and donated furniture for their kids. San Diego began developing a car park program that outreaches and provides essential resources to homeless youth sleeping in their cars in city-sanctioned lots. Seattle went out to the streets to meet and serve young people in about 1200 instances. Silicon Valley expanded their Outreach Center to stay open five nights per week and celebrated its executive director’s community award from the San Francisco Giants. Tucson hosted our annual conference, increased capacity to serve an additional 200 youth last year, and advocated for countless youth to get care and support in recovery or detention. And Worcester developed a housing advocacy program to target resources to youth who need emergency respite. These are just some of the stories from our programs around the country.
Last year I told you we reached platinum-level Guidestar status (its highest rating). This year, thanks to our financial transparency and incredible stewardship of donor funds, we also earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating, too. We are proud of being a four-star charity.
Your continued support is vital so we can transform our national program support operations to serve more youth more comprehensively. We are ending the cycle of youth homelessness and moving America into a place where all youth know care, feel loved, and can move quickly from surviving to thriving. It’s a radical vision for 2018, our 28th year, but for us there is no alternative.
Our social contract is one that needs you. We are indebted to you for your support of StandUp For Kids! Please donate now if you are able. A one-time amount or a monthly commitment goes a long way.