“There’s not a lot of resources for these young people,” said Ms. Howard, who entered a career in social services because of her own homeless experience. “There’s a lot of times when there is no option. There’s no beds.” 1
Today, for our first installment in our Summer in a Safe City Campaign (#NYCSafeSummer) grantee highlight series, we are featuring the Streetwork program at Safe Horizon. This program serves homeless youth under the age of 24, of whom Safe Horizon estimates there are about 7,400 in New York City.
Streetwork consists of two drop in centers (one in Harlem and one in the Lower East Side), two residential programs, and a street outreach program that extends to help at least 21,000 youth per year. The program offers a wide assortment of services that extend beyond providing food and shelter. On offer are free legal, medical, and psychiatric services through individual and group counseling; practical and educational assistance; advocacy; HIV prevention; and many other forms of support that homeless youth are dependent upon for survival.
With the 2015 Reisenbach grant, Safe Horizon’s Harlem Drop In Center assisted 649 clients. Once these individuals enter the drop in center, Safe Horizon’s Youth Advocate, Kathleen Cash, greets every single one with a welcoming smile and sense of comfort. “Greeting them every time they arrive not only allows me to make them feel comfortable– it also allows me to gauge what kind of help they need,” Kathleen said. Each client was helped in a variety of ways: given referrals for the organization’s on-site provider of legal services; assisted with applying for public benefits, such as SNAP and Medicaid; and provided medical services.
Your donation to our Summer in a Safe City Campaign will help our grantee Safe Horizon with more funding to increase their outreach program and to offer even more resources to current clients of the program and to other homeless youth that are still on the streets today. Help us to help Safe Horizon make New York a safer place for these young people.
If you would like to donate to our campaign, click here.
1 The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/06/nyregion/young-and-homeless-in-new-york-overlooked-and-underserved.html?_r=0.