Getting Kids Connected

It comes down to getting kids connected to services and support that can help.

At-risk young people too often fall through the cracks because they do not know where to go for help, or they have a hard time asking for support. The Youth Outreach Program addresses that need by meeting kids where they are and by providing a safe, convenient place for youth to find us. Between our youth outreach runs and the YOP Shop, our goal is to find as many at-risk youth as possible and help them connect to services and resources that can support them in developing life skills, setting and reaching goals, and creating a road map to the future they want.

Getting Ameila “Home”

When 22-year-old Amelia came to the YOP Shop, she was homeless and pregnant. She had a juvenile record, an eviction, and was legally blind. While she had a strong desire to get her life on track and provide for her baby, she had no idea where to start.

At the YOP Shop, she found the direction and guidance she needed. First, Amelia’s YOP counselor helped her make and get to doctors’ appointments so she could get contacts and literally see more clearly. Then the YOP program helped her put her future in focus, too.

By connecting Amelia to the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP), Amelia received the support and guidance she needed to start the process of getting her juvenile record expunged, removing a major obstacle to reaching her future employment and housing goals. Her YOP Shop team also helped her find resources to aid in her job search. The team was able to secure temporary housing through a program that provides support for parenting mothers. Then, the YOP Shop workers advocated on Amelia’s behalf to secure a permanent apartment for her.

To help Amelia provide the best start for her new baby, Huckleberry House staff set up an online baby shower drive. Through generous donations, Amelia received many baby necessities including clothing, a crib, and diapers, all things she needed to give her child the best start in life.

Instead of Amelia and her baby facing life on the streets, today they are secure in their own home. Amelia continues to work and provide for her daughter. With the YOP Shop’s support, she continues to see the future she wants and to move closer to it every day.

Tiffany Hiibner

Now We’re Getting Somewhere

At Huckleberry House, getting youth to a better place wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of individual and corporate donors who believe in our work and our commitment to helping young people move through challenges and move toward their goals. We are grateful to the tremendous support of all of our contributors. We asked a good friend of Huck House to tell us why she gives.

“Being new to Columbus, I was interested in learning about and serving the community. Through my employer, I heard about Huck House and was immediately drawn to the cause. I learned more about the Huck House mission, and I knew I had to get involved.
Here’s why… As an adoptive parent, I had the chance to interact quite a bit with my daughter’s birth parents throughout the pregnancy and birth. Through our conversations, I learned about their past. They both had faced very tough times growing up, which led to continued troubles in adulthood. Their struggles brought them to a place where they were not going to be able to keep their child, a decision nobody would ever want to make. I saw their struggles, and I knew that, had they had a safe place like Huck House available to them, life could have taken a much different path.

I see them, my daughter’s birth parents, in the many faces of the clients that Huck House serves each and every day. I will forever be indebted to them for giving me the gift of being a mother. Today, my daughter is a beautiful, loving, funny, smart five-year-old. Truly, I view her birth parents as heroes for making such a difficult choice that ultimately benefited my daughter and gave her the opportunity to thrive in a healthy and loving household.

By supporting Huck House, I feel I am giving a little something back to them – possibly helping others who might be in similar situations now or in the future. I feel lucky to be associated with such an amazing organization.”

Tiffanie Hiibner
Huckleberry House Board Member and Supporter

becky-westerfelt-sm

How do we solve youth homelessness?

“We have to integrate fundamental change in our systemic approach to a number of things like education, like poverty,” Huckleberry House’s executive director Becky Westerfelt told the audience attending a panel discussion, “The Unexpected Face of Homelessness: Teens on the Street,” hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Club.

During the discussion, Becky challenged attendees to start thinking of youth homelessness as the community’s issue and asked everyone to get involved.

In an effort to continue the theme of broader community engagement, we are holding a small open house/lunch at the Huck House crisis shelter for people who may be interested in thinking about how people not in the “system” can support the work. The framing question will focus on how to make it easier for kids to access help and how we use community resources to address youth homelessness. Read more

stephanie

Violence in teen relationships is more common than you think

Stephanie Smith, Huckleberry House’s Crime Victim Specialist, reacts to a violent assault on a local 15-year old by her ex-boyfriend.  Huckleberry House offers our support of this strong young woman and her family on the difficult road to healing. This story is tragic, heart-breaking, and shocking. However, for many teenagers and young women, the story […]

suicide prevention awareness month

Suicide Prevention Awareness

September was National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Just because September is over does not mean the conversation is over!

Suicide and suicidal ideation is a worldwide epidemic that affects a large number of young people and adults daily. Suicide does not only hurt one person — it also affects family, friends, acquaintances, and people whose names you might not even know.

Suicide prevention is the responsibility of all people. There are many warning signs present in suicidal individuals that, if noticed and acted upon early enough, can save their lives. The majority of people that are suicidal may show signs long before having suicidal thoughts. It is important to pay attention to your friends and family members and recognize changes in their behavior. The following are signs that you or your friend may need immediate help.

  • Significant change in sleeping habits
  • Feeling like life would be better off for everyone if you are no longer around
  • No longer interested in friends or social activities
  • Running away from home
  • Feeling like the pressure of life is too much for you to handle
  • Thinking or talking about death
  • Feeling as if nothing will ever improve in your life

If you suspect someone you know to be suicidal or has expressed suicidal ideation, make sure to take the correct steps.

  • Never leave someone who is actively suicidal alone, encourage them to keep talking
  • If someone tells you they want to kill themselves take the threat seriously and reach out for help
  • Tell a parent, teacher or someone you trust
  • Contact Huckleberry House staff at 614-294-5553 (24/7)
  • Contact The Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
On Friday, September 8, the Transitional Living Program (TLP) team participated in a bus tour challenge around central Ohio. The challenge was designed by TLP manager Amanda Glauer to prepare staff to assist young people in TLP as they plan their transportation.

The 2017 Huck House Transitional Living Program (TLP) Bus Tour Challenge

The 2017 Huck House Transitional Living Program (TLP) Bus Tour Challenge Last Friday, the Huck House Transitional Living Program (TLP) Team participated in the first-ever TLP Bus Tour Challenge. The challenge was designed by TLP manager Amanda Glauer. Despite her team’s loss, Amanda was happy about the day and everything the team learned. She answers […]

September 10th: World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death

Nearly 1 million people complete suicide each year 

For every 1 person who completes suicide, approximately 20 more attempt suicide 


  • Suicide is preventable
  • World Suicide Prevention Day was first recognized in 2003
  • Recognize suicidal behavior
    •  https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/suicidal-behavior/index.html
  • Reach out to someone who may be struggling
    • https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-someone-else/
  • Reach out if you need help
    • https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/

1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255
By Logic Feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Available 24 hours everyday

Suicide Prevention Lifeline Chat:
http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx

September: Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

suicide prevention awareness month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  This month the Huck House Blog will focus on suicide and mental health statistics, risk factors, warning signs and what to do if you, or someone you know, needs help.


Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in people ages 10 – 24

90% of people who die by suicide had a mental illness

20% of youth ages 13-18 have mental health condition

https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/Infographics/Children-MH-Facts-NAMI.pdf

 

Mental health issues are burdened with unwarranted stigma and misconceptions. Ending the stigma could help so many teens and young adults who are contemplating suicide.

 

The first step to ending the stigma is educating yourself and others. Visit https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions for an overview of the most common mental health conditions.