YES Blog

  • Safe Place

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    If a youth has ever been in a dangerous situation, they need to know about Safe Place.

    If a teen is the victim of assault or violence, they need to know about Safe Place.

    If any young person is ever afraid to return home, they need to know about Safe Place. 

    What is Safe Place? National Safe Place is an outreach program designed to provide access to immediate help and safety for all youth in crisis. 

    How it works? Safe Place forms partnerships with local business and other locations including libraries to offer youth a safe and secure location to go in a time of need.

    1. When youth find themselves in a crisis situation, the teen can find a Safe Place location through text message. When the youth arrives at the Safe Place location, they will then tell an employee they need help. 

    2. Once an employee is notified, they will contact Youth Emergency Services, the local Safe Place affiliate, for assistance. Within 20-30 minutes or less, the Safe Place volunteer will arrive to talk with the youth and transport them to the agency, if necessary, for counseling, support, a place to stay, or other resources.

    3. Once at the Safe Place agency, counselors meet with the youth and provide support, resources, and help. Family members or guardians are called to let them know that their child is safe. Agency staff make sure the youth and their families receive the help and professional referrals they need. 

    Safe Place is a vital resource for all youth! Safe Place offers youth a safe alternative to dangerous or potentially harmful situations. 

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    How you can help! National Safe Place Week is March 16-22. To kick off the week, YES is holding a Safe Place Awareness Walk on Monday, March 17 at noon. We will begin on the steps of City Hall where a proclamation will be read. We will then continue through downtown towards Urban Abbey. Everyone is invited to join us and help spread the word about Safe Place!

    For more information, please email info@yesomaha.org.


  • Poem by Anonymous

     

    ImagePicture and poem by a current YES youth.

     


  • Street Out Reach Program: Lonnie’s Story

    Lonnie’s life has had many different paths, and for a long time it didn’t have a clear direction.

    At the age of 7, Lonnie was adopted. He had parents, siblings, and a place to call home. But all of that quickly changed after he turned 18. It was at that time his parents decided that he was on his own.

    “They turned me off to the streets,” says Lonnie.

    Without the support of his family, Lonnie found himself homeless and alone.

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    Once Lonnie heard about the Youth Emergency Services Drop-In Center, he has become a regular. Lonnie goes to the Drop-In Center daily to receive a hot meal, hygiene supplies, and guidance for the future. Since his arrival, YES staff has helped Lonnie find a place to live and has been able to provide him with the resources he needs to get back on his feet.

    “It’s like a big family,” says Lonnie.

    Now Lonnie not only goes to the Drop-In Center for assistance, he volunteers there. He regularly helps in the pantry and organizes supplies.

    “I have helped so many people out through YES,” says Lonnie.

    Now Lonnie has a plan for his life. He begins college soon and will be studying Criminal Justice with the hopes of being in Law Enforcement one day.


  • Three Way For Teens to Help Homeless Teens

    There are 1.7 million homeless teens in the US. What the what? Even scarier, 1 out of every 3 homeless people is under the age 18. Take action around this issue. We’ve got 3 ways on how YOU can help.

    1. Serve food: Contact the local shelters in your area and get permission to host a special dinner for the homeless teens there – whether that means providing food supplies for the shelter to prepare it or doing a potluck style with your friends!

    2. Start a club at your school: and take action around this issue year-round. You could make hygiene kits, or hold a coat drive, or blanket drive.

    3. Host a charitable basketball game: and ask for items you’re collecting for your drive (aka jeans or supplies to make a care package, etc).


  • Five Things Your Campus Can Do To Help Homeless and Foster Youth

    HomefortheHolidays

    For some college students, the holiday breaks aren’t something to look forward to. Many students don’t have anywhere to go once campus closes down, and they are left out in the cold.

    1. Allow youth to stay in their dorms without having to pay.
    Some colleges and universities allow students to reside on campus during academic breaks, but they charge a fee for each day a student resides in the dorms. These fees can pose barriers for homeless and foster youth, as they may not be able to afford the housing cost. Homeless and foster youth should be allowed to reside in the dorms, with fees waived, in order to ensure that they will have a place to stay during breaks.

    2. Open up international student housing for homeless and foster youth.
    Many colleges and universities allow international students to reside in their dorm rooms during holiday closure and semester breaks. Without this allowance, many international students would have nowhere to stay. Like international students, many homeless and foster care youth have no place to go during breaks and closures. Colleges and universities should allow homeless and foster youth to remain in their dorm rooms, or to reside in the international dorms during breaks.

    3. Use Student Support Services dollars for housing during breaks.
    The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 allows Student Support Services programs to secure temporary housing during breaks in the academic year for homeless students and students from foster care. Colleges and universities should work with Student Support Services programs on their campuses to find the best way to utilize these dollars for housing for homeless and foster youth. If there are no Student Support Services programs on campus, colleges and universities should work agencies that can supplement the cost of housing during school breaks. For example, in Massachusetts, the Department of Children and Family Services pay for housing for foster care youth during college/university breaks.

    4. Create a web-site where youth can confidentially disclose their status and what services they need.
    Colleges and universities should use an online application where students can self-identify their homeless or foster care status and indicate what services they need, including housing during breaks. Offices such as Student Housing and Financial Aid can then work together to better assist the student with securing housing during breaks. Please see the following website to see how this has been implemented at Michigan State University. http://www.finaid.msu.edu/fyas/AppMain.asp

    5. Designate a Single Point of Contact on Campus.
    A SPOC is a point person who can help homeless and foster youth navigate housing resources on and off campuses. Two states (CO and NC) have designated SPOCs at every institution of higher education; four other states are in the process of making this happen. In addition to housing assistance, SPOCs help homeless youth and foster youth successfully navigate the college-going process. SPOCs implement a streamlined process to facilitate communication and quick referral among departments and services on their campus. To find out more about the SPOC model please contact Cyekeia Lee, NAEHCY’s National Higher Education Liaison at clee@naehcy.org.


 

In the News

  • Safe Place

    If a youth has ever been in a dangerous situation, they need to know about Safe Place. If a teen is the victim of assault or violence, they need to know about Safe Place. If any young person is ever afraid to return home, they need to know about Safe Place.  What is Safe Place? […]

  • Poem by Anonymous

      Picture and poem by a current YES youth.  

  • Street Out Reach Program: Lonnie’s Story

    Lonnie’s life has had many different paths, and for a long time it didn’t have a clear direction. At the age of 7, Lonnie was adopted. He had parents, siblings, and a place to call home. But all of that quickly changed after he turned 18. It was at that time his parents decided that […]

  • Three Way For Teens to Help Homeless Teens