OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT
All our youth come to us from homelessness or incarceration (resulting from living on the streets). Team members spend several hours a week meeting with youth in jail and on the streets, building trusting relationships, describing our programs and offering to help the youth turn their lives around. Most often, we are the only outside visitors they receive while incarcerated, and the only offer of support.
We get the youth the help they need, which most often starts with our wellness program. With respect to treatment (inpatient or outpatient), we negotiate scholarships and discounts with treatment centers. Where necessary, we will also assist youth in obtaining private insurance to cover short falls in treatment cost, as public insurance does not cover treatment. After connecting the youth to the appropriate treatment, we monitor their progress. We are there to meet the youth when he/she is released from treatment and connect with him/her with safer/sober living and continuation of the recovery process. When the youth is ready, we assist him/her in transitioning to independent living, which includes (re)enrollment in school, vocational training, job training or living wage employment. We also provide mentoring and life coaching, as well as serve as a conduit to other available resources.
All our youth grew up in institutionalized care - small orphanages known as "group homes". There are many problems associated with this method of warehousing children. We advocate at the local level for the development of desperately needed services for former foster youth and for the provision of services in a way which meets the actual needs of our youth.