My Dearest Larkin Family,
As the pages of time turn to spring, I cannot help but be reminded of all the hardships that have befallen our community this past winter. We have weathered a major storm that brought devastation to our unhoused neighbors, witnessed the tragic shooting that shook the Asian American Pacific Islander community, and seen continuing attacks on the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. It has been a trying time. And the loss of our beloved team member Carlton Benson, known lovingly to us as “Mr. C,” has been a blow that cuts deep.
But even as we struggle under all these weights, I am awash in gratitude for your unwavering support of young people struggling with homelessness.
Words will always fall short, but your commitment has given these incredible young people the drive and determination to keep pushing forward.
And the data shows it is making a difference: youth homelessness has declined steadily in San Francisco over the last decade by over half.
Although we know there is still much to do, we also know that investing in youth works.
That’s your compassion in action!
Unfortunately, the rising cost of living continues to be a critical concern for far too many youth, with food insecurity at the forefront.
It is with excitement that I am able to announce the launch of a new pilot with support from Google.org on the Trust Youth Initiative program, which will provide targeted cash payments to young people in our programs.
A best practice proven effective worldwide in international economic development, by offering our young people access to cash for basic needs like food and clothing, they can concentrate on essential areas of their lives, such as education, employment, and mental wellness.
Finally, I want to express our deep personal gratitude for the ongoing efforts of government leaders such as Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, who continues to devote her time and resources to supporting young people experiencing homelessness. While there is still much work to do to end youth homelessness in our lifetimes, thanks to her and your unwavering advocacy on behalf of our youth, I see brighter summer days ahead—for all of us!
Larkin Street Youth Services