StandUp For Kids - Olympia is now StandUp For Kids - Thurston County, as we are expanding our efforts beyond Olympia city limits!
Our new program page is located at www.standupforkids.org/thurston-county. Please update your bookmarks accordingly. We hope to see you there!
The mission of StandUp For Kids - Olympia/Thurston County is to stabilize youth who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, establish trust, and act as a resource linking youth with community services. We advocate for youth and assist them in building opportunities for a better tomorrow. StandUp For Kids provides community support services to youths up to the age of 24. StandUp For Kids provides important services in order to improve the general quality of life for youth. It helps youth meet their survival needs and offers a social support network. The program seeks to provide youth with access to a preventative safety net of medical care, meals, housing, and a safe place from street life.
Build our Vision
Community ideas and feedback are most welcome as StandUp For Kids launches its weekly POSH (Place of Safety and Hope) drop-in center within First Christian Church and also executes its 5-year plan to design and run POSH transitional housing for youth. How would you design transitional housing that welcomes our youth? Let us know.
The most important ingredient is the relationship established between StandUp For Kids volunteers and individual youth. Through that relationship, youth realize they are valuable within the community and to society. Youth can know and feel love through the counseling and resources provided by our volunteers and by the extended community. As rents have increased on the West coast, homelessness has increased, too. Youth are the most vulnerable group of the homeless population and less likely to seek and receive services than older adults. Without intervention and assistance, they can become victims of trafficking, sexual abuse, and exploitation. In time, they may join the chronically homeless adult population.
Volunteers reach out to youth living on the streets and in make-shift shelters. They offer sustaining snacks, such as fruit, nuts, pop-top canned goods, juices and granola bars. They also work to establish relationships and trust. Volunteers offer encouragement, hope and an invitation to meet later at the StandUp For Kids POSH (Place of Safety and Hope) Drop-in Center, housed within First Christian Church in downtown Olympia, or at a public location where the individual is comfortable. In these meetings, youth receive counseling and assistance, and learn about community resources that can help them transition from surviving to thriving.
Mentoring and Counseling
Volunteers support, encourage and remind youth to meet personal goals that can improve their lives. Volunteers connect youth to resources, depending on the individual’s needs. Resources include (but are not limited to) educational and job referral assistance, clinical counseling, medical and dental assistance, transportation to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, assistance obtaining personal identification and birth certificates, legal assistance, clothes, furniture and food.
Housing Support Assistance
Youth at risk of homelessness may have apartments, but are in danger of losing them. Volunteers provide knowledge and skills on how to understand and follow a lease, how to maintain an apartment, and how to cook and clean. When youth secure an apartment, StandUp For Kids may also provide assistance with furniture or funds to pay a utility bill, as needed.