Aug 25, 2021

"Without a home, education becomes hard"

As the new school year begins and schools transition back to in-person learning, LAYC will continue to provide youth essential tools and support to cultivate learning and creativity to maximize their academic success.

Homeless and unstably housed youth are still working on getting back on track due to the pandemic and, as one LAYC housing client demonstrates below, facing homelessness makes it particularly challenging to stay on track in school.

Our Housing team works alongside youth every day who, despite multiple barriers to educational success, posess the aptitude and tremendous drive needed to succeed in school. With your support, we are able to provide stable housing, individualized support, and opportunities that make a difference in young person's academic journey.

 

YOUTH TESTIMONY

"A home is a place where there is a sanctuary, security, a place where we can rest, relax, enjoy time with loved ones...learn, grow, and just be. LAYC’s Hope’s House program gave us the belonging of what it means to have a home. Education is very important in one's life but, without a home, education becomes hard. Our case manager, Mr. Marco, showed so much care for us and supported us. Hope’s House gave us many opportunities that greatly helped us and our case manager Mr. Marco would always tell us about the many opportunities for students our age.

The program gave us security and made us feel safe. With Mr. Marco, we were able to get health insurance, which helped us. After school, when I needed to print or do projects for school, I was never worried or scared that I would never be able to get my work turned in because, in the program, they had computers that always enabled me to do my school assignments. No matter what background you come from, or shape, or race you are, the Hope’s House program makes you feel welcomed. Most of all, it provides us with a centering—a place from which we leave each morning and to which we return each evening."

 

Thank you for supporting homeless youth and their education and making stories like these possible.

Lupi Quinteros-Grady
LAYC President and CEO

Jul 7, 2021

Saving Lives and Keeping our Communities Safe - LAYC's COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

COVID-19 vaccination event
COVID-19 vaccination event

Since the pandemic began, LAYC staff have mobilized to support LAYC youth, their families, and our community at large to provide services such as COVID-19 education and outreach, food and rental assistance, and so much more.

Your support has made it possible for us to secure critical resources and ensure the health and well-being of thousands of families for over a year!

 

LAYC: A COMMUNITY LEADER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID

Internal COVID-19 vaccine education and outreach efforts carried out by our Health Promotions and Community Wellness teams have been nothing short of remarkable; 87% of LAYC staff have already been fully vaccinated.

Our staff have also continued to share COVID-19 information and vaccine updates with LAYC clients and provide COVID-19 screening to youth to promote health and encourage vaccination in our communities. In addition, LAYC’s Prince George’s County, Maryland team hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic this month. Partnering with Luminis Health, we vaccinated 78 youth and their families at a fun summer programming kick-off event!   

I am proud to announce that LAYC’s Health Promotions Team recently joined Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office to continue combatting COVID-19 with the Take the Shot, DC campaign, which aims to provide vaccine education and vaccination opportunities to residents. Our team has already recruited 27 COVID-19 Community Response Corps members to knock on doors to engage residents, primarily in Wards 7 and 8, about the vaccine. 

On June 19th, LAYC and its Community Response Corps members joined the Mayor's Office, DC Hope, DC Health, and American Airlines at a Take the Shot, DC event at Anacostia High School, located in Ward 8, to encourage vaccination.

We are all hoping for better days, but we are encouraged to see the progress we are making, understanding there is still much work to be done.

We cannot continue to support our communities without the support of individuals like you.

With gratitude,
Lupi Quinteros-Grady

COVID-19 vaccination clinic
COVID-19 vaccination clinic
COVID-19 vaccination clinic
COVID-19 vaccination clinic
May 3, 2021

COVID-19 education and outreach for homeless youth

LAYC COVID-19 efforts
LAYC COVID-19 efforts

Since March, 2020, Latin American Youth Center staff have been determined to continue providing services to all of our participants, including our unstably housed clients, despite unforeseen hurdles like decreased opportunities to reach them and connect them to the city's services and resources.

Additionally, we have been faced with the specific challenge to curate and establish safety measures to keep clients and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our staff have observed first-hand the disadvantage among communities of color in terms of understanding how to access the vaccine, in addition to widespread apprehension about taking the vaccine within these communities. During the pandemic, LAYC’s Health Promotions and Community Wellness teams have been instrumental in educating youth, families, and our staff about the virus and vaccine.

This effort includes the following strategies: 

  • Health Promotions team completing Johns Hopkins' COVID-19 training.
  • Surveying youth and families to assess understanding of the virus and vaccine and to identify community needs.
  • Holding youth focus groups to understand pandemic impact on mental health in the Latinx community (with UnidosUS) and youth focus groups with Habesha and Latinx families to understand feelings around the vaccine and identify effective approaches to vaccine education (with George Washington University).
  • Holding an interactive, internal town hall meeting about the vaccine with guest speakers from the medical field.
  • Providing vaccine information from experts and weekly vaccine updates to staff, including vaccination locations.
  • Disseminating vaccine resources and links to LAYC clients via social media and providing COVID-19 screening to youth.
  • Sharing LAYC staff vaccination experiences with the community.

These efforts would not be possible without our local community partners and your support

Thank you for your commitment to the safety and well-being of our youth!

Lupi Quinteros-Grady
LAYC President and CEO

 
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