Through your generous support, Synergy's Youth Resiliency Center (YRC) continues to make a difference to the homeless youth of Kansas City. As of October, 2010 this facility has provided emergency shelter to 420 youth while 24 have participated in the Transitional Living Program and are working toward independent living.
Homelessness is on the rise across the country, Kansas City is no exception. Our Street Outreach team, which provides basic necessities like food, water, clothing, blankets and hygiene products, continues to canvas the streets of Greater Kansas City helping homeless youth. We have assisted 2,851 youth this year, which is a 75% increase from 2009, and we still have the winter months ahead. We are pleased to report that 111 youth have left the streets due to the efforts of this team in conjunction with the YRC.
Other services provided through the YRC include quality medical and dental services for homeless teens. In 2010, 209 youth have received dental services, 387 youth have received mental health and case management services, and 106 youth have received medical services.
Recently a young man residing in our new Synergy House shelter was taking Congressman Emanuel Cleaver on a tour. He was showing him around and pointing out all the services, when suddenly he stopped, turned to him, and said “I just want you to know that two weeks ago I was living behind a dumpster and now I’m taking a Congressman on a tour of this awesome place that was built to help me change my life…I will never be the same person again.” It is so moving to hear kids who have not had a safe comfortable place to live or caring parents to take care of them share how much it means to know that the community valued them enough to build the campus.
We thank you for partnering with us in our mission to make these teens safe today and strong tomorrow.
On a daily basis, Synergy’s Street Outreach team experience first-hand the increasingly alarming number of youth who are actually living on the streets or at-risk of becoming homeless. In 2009, the team made 1,980 contacts with these teens. Through the first half of 2010, the team has already made over 1,500 contacts and is expecting an 80 percent increase from last year. With the addition of the Youth Resiliency Center and the services it offers, this hidden and vulnerable population, often living in stairwells, abandoned buildings, and in unsuitable and dangerous situations, now has a shelter where these youth can find refuge from their violent and lost existence.
The Youth Resiliency Center opened on the Synergy Services Homeless Youth Campus in March of 2010 offering a strategic blend of teen-focused experiences selected to help traumatized youth develop a more positive world view. This L.E.E.D–silver certified building was intentionally and painstakingly designed to welcome this vulnerable and often wary population of runaway, homeless, and traumatized youth. From the building’s structural design, furniture, colors, artwork, on-site adolescent “medical-home” clinic, and the carefully chosen activities, every detail of the Resiliency Center was planned to eliminate the typical institutional environment and overcome the barriers that so often inhibit homeless adolescents from accessing help. The YRC includes a medical and dental clinic, a counseling center, an interactive computer laboratory, a kitchen, recreational space, showers, a laundry, and lockers where homeless youth can store their belongings. In our first year of operation, we anticipate serving a minimum of 1,000 youth who will regularly use the services of the Youth Resiliency Center including youth residing in the new Emergency Shelter and Transitional Living. Currently over 80 at-risk youth are utilizing the center weekly.
Synergy’s goal is for our new Youth Campus to be inundated with youth, while providing a special place where young people from across the community will find safety, shelter, and the wrap-around services, therapy and support needed to transform their lives. Therefore, Synergy is also currently working with metro school districts as well as other youth focused agencies to ensure that we reach the youth who need the Resiliency Center’s critical services, creative outlets, and engaging support system. With a full-service shelter and the Youth Resiliency Center, Synergy’s Homeless Youth Campus will be “A Place to Call Home and a Place to Come Home”. The campus will offer vulnerable adolescents the ongoing “connectedness” found to be necessary for their physical, emotional, and social well-being.
The summer months bring additional opportunities for programs to help teens in need of our services. Currently, our Shelter is full and maintains a waiting list.
We recently uploaded a video describing Synergy Services--Please take a look and let us know your thoughts! Thanks for your on-going support.
Synergy Services sponsors One Homeless Night each November to inform and educate our community about the plight of homeless teens in our community.
Ty--One Amazing Youth-decided that One Person really can make a difference. Watch his video to see this amazing young man and his appeal to help Homeless Youth.
The Synergy Services Resiliency Center project continues to gain momentum in the community as the construction of the new Youth Emergency Homeless Campus gathers attention.
Synergy is seeking further support of services that homeless and troubled youth need by partnering with organizations who could serve youth on site. One such organization-Miles of Smiles, Inc., is going to bring its mobile dental program to the campus and will have afternoon/evening hours to assist homeless youth.
We are gathering items needed--just as if you were moving into a new home--and have a Wish List of Housewarming Items. Please check out our website for items to help us. We hope to open the doors in 3 weeks!
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Case Record Coordinator