Celebrating Larkin Street’s 35th Anniversary!
When we opened our doors in 1984, we were small, but strong.
From a storefront at 1040 Larkin Street, the fledgling team provided counseling to more than 100 young people who were otherwise alone and vulnerable to abuse, addiction and exploitation. In the first six months, over three-quarters of the youth who met with counselors four times or more broke free from the street. We knew we were on to something.
35 years later, more than 75,000 young people have received services from Larkin Street, and we still see that three out of four young people who complete our housing programs live independently when they leave.
Now, we’re on the precipice of more young people than ever finding a path to their potential thanks to years of hard work, investment and advocacy. As a City, we have set a goal to reduce youth homelessness by 50 percent over the next three years through a new public-private partnership called Rising Up.
Larkin Street was selected as the lead nonprofit for this effort, which will introduce 500 new beds for young people and prevent homelessness for an additional 450 youth. Rising Up unites a network of service providers along with the City departments, private industry and the real experts: young people. Working in partnership, we will weave a tapestry that can hold young people as they navigate through the housing, education, employment and health programs that will help them reach their full potential.
As we move toward this expansion and look back at all the accomplishments of those involved with Larkin Street over the last 35 years, the word that comes to mind is gratitude. We are grateful to the tireless staff, board members, volunteers and partners who have come together to form this community of encouragement and support. Our greatest appreciation, however, goes to the thousands of young people – and now adults – who have walked through our doors for their unyielding determination to find and forge a better future.