It comes down to getting kids connected to services and support that can help.
At-risk young people too often fall through the cracks because they do not know where to go for help, or they have a hard time asking for support. The Youth Outreach Program addresses that need by meeting kids where they are and by providing a safe, convenient place for youth to find us. Between our youth outreach runs and the YOP Shop, our goal is to find as many at-risk youth as possible and help them connect to services and resources that can support them in developing life skills, setting and reaching goals, and creating a road map to the future they want.
Getting Ameila “Home”
When 22-year-old Amelia came to the YOP Shop, she was homeless and pregnant. She had a juvenile record, an eviction, and was legally blind. While she had a strong desire to get her life on track and provide for her baby, she had no idea where to start.
At the YOP Shop, she found the direction and guidance she needed. First, Amelia’s YOP counselor helped her make and get to doctors’ appointments so she could get contacts and literally see more clearly. Then the YOP program helped her put her future in focus, too.
By connecting Amelia to the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP), Amelia received the support and guidance she needed to start the process of getting her juvenile record expunged, removing a major obstacle to reaching her future employment and housing goals. Her YOP Shop team also helped her find resources to aid in her job search. The team was able to secure temporary housing through a program that provides support for parenting mothers. Then, the YOP Shop workers advocated on Amelia’s behalf to secure a permanent apartment for her.
To help Amelia provide the best start for her new baby, Huckleberry House staff set up an online baby shower drive. Through generous donations, Amelia received many baby necessities including clothing, a crib, and diapers, all things she needed to give her child the best start in life.
Instead of Amelia and her baby facing life on the streets, today they are secure in their own home. Amelia continues to work and provide for her daughter. With the YOP Shop’s support, she continues to see the future she wants and to move closer to it every day.