Youth Outreach Program Spotlight – Kyra Crockett Hodge

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1. What is the purpose of the Youth Outreach Program?

The purpose of YOP is to help young people who are disconnected and struggling with obstacles that are keeping them from achieving their personal goals to become self-sufficient.

2. What’s up at the YOP Shop?

The YOP SHOP is a resource hub located at 893 East 11th Avenue. Young people can walk in or call Monday – Friday between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. There are five Outreach Specialists there that truly want to see young people succeed. Young people can come in and receive help coming up with a strategy to address whatever issues they are experiencing that have become obstacles for them moving forward with their lives. Basic needs items can also be obtained at shop such as hygiene items or snack items. The main thing I think people walk away with from the Huck House YOP SHOP is a feeling that someone cares about what they have been through and where they will end up.

3. What are the top three things the youth you meet with need?

The majority of young people that YOP encounters are trying to figure out life on their own and need help to know where to start or how to get back on track. Most young people are struggling with housing issues, lack of financial stability and help navigating the adult systems that they have little to no experience with.

 

Currently there are a lot of young people who we as a system know are experiencing homelessness but for several reasons do not access adult shelter services.  When this happens, our system lacks the ability to properly account for the number of actual kids that are homeless and it provides barriers for these young people to be eligible for housing options that may be available through the adult system. Maryhaven Outreach Team was solely responsible for certifying all of Franklin County for any homeless person (adult or youth) for years.  Recently, the Youth Outreach Team has been certified to verify homelessness for transitional aged youth and will hopefully be able to contribute to the bigger systems issue of not being able to provide available resources to young people who are literally homeless.