NewsFeed @ Youth In Need | December 17, 2018
Help Thousands, One Youth at a Time
Shouldn’t every child know the comfort of a warm bed to sleep in, warm clothes to wrap themselves in and warm meals to nourish them?
At Youth In Need, one of our core focus areas is helping homeless and at-risk youth find safety, hope and even warmth—during the coldest winter day and every day.
With your help, we will do that and more by helping them discover a future filled with possibility. Donate now and help thousands…one youth at a time!
Supported Apartments Opens in New Location
Youth In Need recently purchased an eight-unit apartment building in St. John for its Supported Apartments Program. The new-to-Youth In Need complex opened on Nov. 1 with the occupation of a staff apartment and client apartment. Previous community residents are in the process of moving out, while staff work to identify youth to move in to the soon-to-be vacated units. This new building offers two more apartments than the previous site in Maplewood.
Youth In Need’s Supported Apartments Program is one part of the Transitional Living Program continuum of care, providing support and services so that once-homeless youth can become thriving, self-sufficient and financially independent young adults. The Supported Apartment Program is designed around the concept of Youth In Need being the youths’ first landlord, while youth pay rent on a sliding scale, depending on their income level. Program staff are available on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The program supports youth as they work toward achieving independence in a safe, nurturing and therapeutic environment. Services include counseling, case management, education support, life skills and financial literacy education, employment skills training, and support for pregnant and parenting teens. Each youth works with a case manager to develop life skills and employment skills that will assist him or her in obtaining and maintaining employment and developing the abilities to successfully live independently. All youth in the Supported Apartments Program learn how to do laundry, prepare a meal, grocery shop and complete a resume.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” —Dr. Seuss
Youth In Need is extremely fortunate to have a whole bunch of special someone’s who care an awful lot and volunteer their time, talent and treasure to make things better—our Board of Directors! This stellar group met recently for their annual board retreat, which was an inspirational day full of learning and sharing. On the learning side, some of our amazing staff gave an informative and insightful presentation about youth homelessness in our region, including the causes and consequences, our services and programs, and our efforts in collaboration with community partners to end youth homelessness. The Emergency Shelter staff hosted a tour of the Shelter, which was an opportunity to further discuss youth homelessness as well as highlight recent facility improvements.
Probably my favorite part of the day was when board members shared the “why” regarding their involvement with Youth In Need. “Why do I care about YIN? What excites me? What images or stories stick with me and why?” Their answers were simple yet profound. They talked about our former President and CEO Jim Braun and how they felt an immediate connection to Youth In Need through his passion and leadership. They talked about our roots in advocacy, our positive outcomes and impact, the quality of our services and reputation, and our focus on equity and inclusion. Images and stories that stood out included long-tenured board members like Tracy Mathis, who have invested so significantly into the life of our organization, encounters with our direct service staff sharing poignantly about their meaningful experiences in the course of their work, and heartfelt stories from previous clients themselves who have overcome tremendous challenges with Youth In Need’s support. All spoke of a deep connection to the mission and people of Youth In Need, and a commitment to unwavering support.
There’s no question in my mind that Youth In Need would not be the successful organization that it is today if not for the support, guidance and leadership from our phenomenal Board of Directors. I am grateful to each of them for asking critical questions, for connecting us with resources, and for sharing of themselves in so many wonderful ways.
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” —Fred Rogers