Mar 30, 2016

Washington Post profiled our program!

Kory, outside the Drop-In Center.
Kory, outside the Drop-In Center.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for supporting LAYC’s Street Outreach Program (SOP). SOP staff outreach in the DC community to find homeless or unstably-housed youth and connect them with services. Case managers work one-on-one with youth to determine their individual needs and create a plan for the future. This month, the program was recognized for our outstanding work through a profile in the Washington Post.

Kory, pictured above, was highlighted in the Washington Post piece, linked here. The article describes her emigration from Honduras, fleeing gang violence. She came to the US to live with her sister, but soon found herself sleeping on friends’ couches. Kory’s situation is not unique for unstably-housed youth. They are scared of adult shelters, embarrassed to admit they are homeless, and worried about paperwork requirements they may need to seek help.

SOP’s Drop-In Center is a safe space for these youth. They can just come to hang out, eat a meal, do laundry, take a shower, and get connected with services. The article highlights how this casual style of programming is essential for vulnerable youth like Kory. “This was a place where you could come and talk and get help,” said Kory in the article.

Through LAYC’s services, Kory was connected to case management, safe housing, and employment. She now works part-time at SOP’s Drop-in Center, where she received services. Please see the linked article for more photos and details about Kory and SOP.

A donation of $25 can provide a three nutritious meals for a young person like Kory. Your support means the world to vulnerable youth who have nowhere else to turn.

 

Gracias,

Lori Kaplan
President & CEO

Links:

Mar 1, 2016

Meet Kenia

Kenia, at the first THP meeting.
Kenia, at the first THP meeting.

Kenia joined LAYC’s Teen Health Promotors (THP) program to pursue her dreams of a career in medicine. A bright student and motivated person, Kenia was excited to learn how to perform vital signs and to become CPR certified. She shared with THP staff that she wanted to learn how to take basic vital signs because she hopes to teach her peers how to take control of their own health. She commented, “Some people are not aware of their health issues until they go see a doctor. Learning how to provide vital signs at home will help individuals keep track of their health.”

Kenia became CPR certified through the Teen Health Promotors, and is now ready for her spring internship at a local medical clinic.

Kenia and the other THP youth ran a recent THP event, “Don’t Catch the Love Bug”, an annual event that teaches their peers about healthy relationships, sexually transmitted diseases, and overall health and wellbeing. All of the activities, from the workshops, to yoga, to vital signs checking, were planned and facilitated by THP youth. Over 60 youth were in attendance. Kenia was able to demonstrate some of the vital signs skills she has learned to her peers, fulfilling her wish!

Kenia is now one step closer to accomplishing her goals. Thank you for your contribution to the Teen Health Promotors. A donation of $100 provides CPR and First Aid training to a youth like Kenia. 

 

Gracias,

Lori Kaplan

Kenia and her peers learning CPR.
Kenia and her peers learning CPR.
Learning CPR steps.
Learning CPR steps.
All the THP youth, fully certified!
All the THP youth, fully certified!
Dec 31, 2015

Meet Marcus

Marcus, after living in safe housing due to LAYC!
Marcus, after living in safe housing due to LAYC!

Dear Friend, 

Thank you for supporting homeless youth, especially around this holiday season. Please enjoy a letter from a former homeless youth named Marcus:

“My name is Marcus, I'm 21 years old, and I'm pursuing my post-secondary education in Information Technology. I've lived in the DC area my whole life. My grandfather did a lot of development in Columbia Heights and I knew the Latin American Youth Center was big in the community.

I first became homeless when I was 17 because my mother and I weren’t getting along and she kicked me out of her house. I went to a local family preservation program after that to try and make things right, but I turned 18 and they couldn't keep me any longer because I was a legal adult. I continued to be homeless after that. One day my stepfather dropped me off in a shelter parking lot over the weekend when they were closed. With no other choice, I slept in the shelter bus for two days.

While walking around in Columbia Heights on day, I saw this house on 15th street and was curious to see if it was an LAYC program. They welcomed me in to the Street Outreach Program. I was put on the housing waiting list and eventually moved into the Safe Housing Program for a year.

My future goals are to be gainfully employed in the IT field, and to eventually do research and mold myself into becoming an entrepreneur, perhaps by starting my own business enterprise. I want to acquire a college degree, possibly majoring in business and minoring in technology or journalism because I love writing. I want to be able to pursue my hobbies in poetry, spoken word, and community activism. SOP and the Safe Housing program has given me a place to recuperate from being homeless for such a long time. It gave me the opportunity to find a career interest and begin my studies in IT work. It has also allowed me to get my mental health back on track, and now I get consistent mental health treatment. Being in the Safe Housing program cultured me in life skills and involved me in the LAYC community. It taught me to have fortitude and to be self-directed in my life.”

LAYC’s Street Outreach Program staff outreach in the DC community to find homeless or unstably-housed youth and connect them with housing, just like Marcus. A donation to this program means that homeless youth can be kept safe during the cold winter months--just $50 provides emergency shelter for youth like Marcus.

 

Gracias,

Lori

 
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