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How does LGBTQ+ affect homeless youth?

By Leslie Scott, LSW

FINAL PRIDE Blog for 61118

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With a little help from our friends…

Each year, Huck House is invited by See Kids Dream to help teach young students about how they can make the world a better place. Guess what happens. Yep! These young students go out and make the world a better place! This year, the students at Ohio Avenue Elementary School, with help from their advisers from Crimson Cup Coffee, created this awesome video to spread awareness about Huck House.

 

Ohio Avenue Elementary School was featured on the news (click here to watch) for the help they are giving to Huck House. On an equally inspirational, and more serious, note, their school was the topic of an article in The Atlantic last month: “One Ohio School’s Quest to Rethink Bad Behavior.”

Thank you to the See Kids Dream Club at Ohio Avenue Elementary School for making the world a better place.

 

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Sip & Shop (& Shelter)

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

J. McLaughlin

1631 Lane Avenue, Columbus, OH 43221

 

Come check out J.McLaughlin’s summer styles AND give back to Columbus’ youth while having a drink and a nosh. J.McLaughlin is donating 15% of the evening’s sales to Huck House. These funds will go towards the myriad of services Huck House offers our teens like the Crisis Shelter and the Transitional Living, Family Support and Youth Outreach Programs. Please feel free to bring friends and share this invitation. See you there!

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100 Day Challenge to End Youth Homelessness

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Last summer and fall, Huckleberry House and six other Columbus agencies participated in A Way Home America’s 100-Day Challenge. The 100-Day Challenge is a project designed to stimulate intense collaboration, innovation, and execution, all in pursuit of a wildly ambitious 100-day goal.

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Supporting a bill that would allow young people to seek housing AND education

On May 17,  in Washington, DC, the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee held a hearing about homlessness. Columbus was well represented at the hearing by Ann Bischoff, CEO of Star House. At the invitation of Congressman Steve Stivers, Huckleberry House executive director Becky Westerfelt submitted a letter of testimony to the hearing. The text of Becky’s letter follows. It focuses on one part of H.R. 1661, the “Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017” that would positively affect Huck House youth:  student occupancy rules. Should the bill become law, youth will no longer have to choose between thriving or merely getting by. Read more

Planning For Parenthood When You’re Disabled

Ashley and her husband both have disabilities, so they knew planning for parenthood would take extra consideration. They have learned some valuable lessons and tips in their preparation for parenthood. They now have two amazing kids and maintain a website to help other disabled parents.

 

Many of the young people who come to Huck House have children of their own and Ashley’s blog below goes through some good questions to ask any soon-to-be parent.

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End of school year stress and your teen

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The end of the school year can be an overwhelming time for many high school students. Unfortunately, it can also be difficult for many young people to recognize and articulate when they are feeling stressed. Rather than saying “I feel stressed”  your child might say “I have a stomachache” or “I’m not sleeping at night.” Some teens may become irritable, impatient, angry, or even aggressive when they are feeling stressed. Others may become anxious, scared, or panicky. As a parent, paying attention to the signs and symptoms of stress can help you recognize and help your child if he or she is struggling. Read more

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Meet Huck House Youth Award Winner, Brittney Evans.

Brittney was adjudicated from the age of 16 to 20. When her adjudication ended, Brittney had some serious life goals. One she achieved quickly was earning her GED within six months of being released. One she is still working on is regaining custody of her son who was ten weeks old when her adjudication began. She worked hard and met all the requirements of Huck House’s Transitional Living Program – always working, saving money, staying on top of her custody fight. And she quit smoking!

Brittney graduated and moved out of TLP on the day her second son was born. She now has new goals. In one year, she wants to be ready for her newborn’s needs as he enters toddlerhood, renew her lease, and be ready for Christmas. In five years, she hopes to have a deposit for a house and be in school for social work. “I really want to work with kids from where I came from – either at Huck House or in the juvenile justice system – so I can help them get to a better life.” For now, she is working for temp services to get back to work after her baby’s birth. Finding a job and a child care center that will make it easy for her to continue to breastfeed for one year is a priority.

When asked when she feels strongest, Brittney says, “every time I have to leave my oldest son after a visit because I want to bring him home with me.” When asked how she finds the strength to get through those hardest moments, she answers, “I find my strength knowing in my heart that it will happen someday.”

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Meet Huck House Youth Award Winner, Ivan Vargas.

Besides being a well-mannered, respectful, hardworking student, Ivan is a model for true perseverance. Three days after his eighteenth birthday, Ivan was arrested for taking a joy ride on a grocery cart scooter. Ivan was booked with a felony charge and encouraged by his public defender to plea out and serve jail time. Ivan did not graduate from high school with his peers. Today, he is on track to graduate in the spring while working full-time at the Spaghetti Warehouse. Although the felony will keep him from joining the military, a life-long dream, Ivan plans to become an auto mechanic. Ivan is unique because he owns his mistakes, blames no one, and takes full responsibility for creating a better life for himself.

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Meet Huck House Youth Award Winner, Tekia Farmer.

Tekia is a high school senior who is exceptional both in and out of the classroom, but she had to overcome a few struggles to get there. As an underclassman at Walnut Ridge, she struggled with grades and had 10 behavior incidences. Now, Tekia has barely had any run-ins with the disciplinary system at school and has started the year with well above a 3.0 GPA. She is on track to receive her diploma in June 2018. Aside from her academic and behavioral improvements, she is very active in her community and has accumulated over 300 hours of community service.

Tekia welcomed a daughter in March 2018 and only missed five school days this year, despite doctors’ appointments and nausea that comes with being pregnant. Tekia’s goals are to enroll into Columbus State in the fall and become a social worker for juveniles. Tekia Farmer’s future looks bright and her daughter has a strong female role model to look up to.