As the temperatures plummet in the District, homeless and runaway youth find themselves competing for shelter and other services. LAYC's Street Outreach Program (SOP) has been busy striving to help 100 youth exit homelessness during the winter months. In November 2012, we organized a "Help the Homeless Community Walk" to raise awareness and funds for our SOP services.
With your donation and the support of the community, Street Outreach workers provided referrals to shelters and transitional housing programs; connected youth to education and workforce opportunities; helped youth obtain health insurance and government IDs; and were busy procuring resources such as hot meals, clothing, hygiene kits, and more. Esteban is one of the youth we have recently worked with to help him get back on his feet.
Esteban is a 20-year old Latino youth who was sleeping in the doorway of a local church when a concerned community member told him about LAYC's SOP. Esteban arrived at the drop-in center later that day and began working with a Street Outreach worker. We gave him food, a place to shower, and clean clothes. He was referred to a short term shelter program with a partner organization and for the first time in weeks had a safe place to stay. He continued to work with us to apply for health insurance, enroll in school, and find a job. Due to his efforts and exemplary behavior in the short term shelter, Esteban was accepted into a longer term, transitional housing program where he continues working towards his goals of self sufficiency.
We hope to continue the good work of assisting our city’s most vulnerable youth and cannot do it without you! Thank you for your generous donations and support of this vital program. Each day presents a new set of challenges for an entire community of youth without a safe, stable place to call home. Please consider telling others about the Latin American Youth Center’s Street Outreach Program and don’t hesitate to contact me for other ways to help.
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