homeless youth means being scared, hungry, and alone most of the time. The few possessions that a homeless youth has
can easily be stolen at any time. It’s
hard to find a safe place to sleep, and often the only option is to stay awake
most of the night. Finding food is
another huge hurdle. Most of the time
the only way to eat is by finding left-over food in trash cans or
in Redlands, Ca., YouthHope’s
mission is to build confidence and promote self-sufficiency for homeless*,
runaway, and underserved youth by providing trust, hope, support and education.
YouthHope was founded in 2009 to be a support system for these youth so that
they may grow to be healthy, successful adults that exit street life.
is feeding, clothing, and providing much needed services to a growing number of
youth each day. In 2012 YouthHope
provided services to over 483 different youth.
In the past 9 months alone, YouthHope has provided hot meals and
services to 785 individual homeless*, runaway, and at-risk youth. YouthHope
provides services through six main programs to homeless and run-away youth ages
14 to 24 from San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire.
Dental, and Optometric Care Program
Case Management Program
Meals and Food Pantry Program
Closet & Hygiene Items Program
to the Redlands Unified School District, (2010-2011 school year) there were
1,404 Homeless 7th
graders enrolled in the RUSD district
alone. YouthHope recently surveyed 276
youth. Of these:
were homeless and living on the streets
were abused as young children
were in the Foster Care system
have parents with drug or alcohol substance abuse problems
recently became ‘Homeless’ like so many of the youth we serve! For the past six months, YouthHope has been
providing services and meals 3 days per week in a local park. WE DESPERATELY NEED A PERMANENT DROP-IN
CENTER where we can provide services 5 days a week before the
winter rain and cold weather sets in.
DROP-IN CENTER FACILITIES
A Permanent Drop-In Center is desperately needed so that we may continue to provide services in one central, safe, warm location to the homeless, run-away, and at-risk youth in the area. We are so excited about the prospect of providing the youth we serve with all of the benefits that a Drop-In Center can provide. YouthHope needs to raise $380,000.00 dollars by the end of the year to purchase a Drop-In Center. A building committee is in place and we have established plans for a facility. We know that this a large amount of money, but we can't let another year go by without providing permanent facilities and services for these youth. We need to work together as a community to make this dream a reality for our homeless and needy youth. Once YouthHope has a permanent facility, we can offer all of our services 5 days per week in addition to providing hot showers and laundry services. Most importantly, the homeless and run-away youth of the area will have a place to call their own, a safe haven where they can come and receive a hot meal, a hug, unconditional love, and HOPE.
Please take a
moment to read the story below and learn more about YouthHope and how we strive
to help homeless, run-away, and at risk youth exit street life.
Randy, Homeless and Alone at Age 14…
Randy grew up in San Bernardino,
California. He began his young life,
like many children, living with his mother and father. Even though Randy’s life began normally, it
wasn’t, both of Randy’s parents used drugs and alcohol. When Randy was approximately 10 years old,
his parents divorced and went their separate ways. Neither of Randy’s parents wanted him to live
with them. During this time of
uncertainty and pain in Randy’s young life, Randy’s uncle stepped in and was kind enough to offer
to let Randy live with him.
in with his uncle and for the first few weeks everything went well. Randy had a new place to live and a new
school to adjust to. Then the abuse
started. Over the course of the next 4
years, Randy’s uncle sexually molested him and verbally and physically abused
him constantly. Randy was only a young
boy and was unable to make the abuse stop.
He didn’t have a safe place to go or a mother or father that were
interested in him. Randy lived with the
molestation and physical abuse in his uncles home until the age of 14 when CPS
(Child Protective Services) removed him from the home.
finally able to leave his uncle’s home and attempted to go back to his father’s
home. When Randy arrived, his father
told him that he didn’t want him there.
Randy was only 14 years old. With
no other options, and very little trust for any adult, Randy began living on
the streets and was homeless at the age of 14.
Randy is homeless in one of the toughest neighborhoods in San
Bernardino. He sleeps in parks among
gang members and drug dealers and finds food in trash cans and dumpsters.
Please consider providing a donation to
YouthHope. If you would like to learn
more about us, please also visit our website; www.youthhope.org.
*Homeless youth criteria as defined by McKinney-Vento according to section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 1143a(2))