As a proud Larkin Street Board of Directors (BOD) Member for the past eight years, I am excited to share the continuing BOD work and progress to center the voice of the youth Larkin Street serves. It is both professionally satisfying and personally fulfilling to be the Chair of the Board Recruitment and Governance Committee to support visibility and transparency into the BOD’s work.
As Chair, I am committed to being intentional about equity initiatives that diversify our board and its impact. As part of this work, the BOD created a task force partnership with Larkin Street’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to identify areas to improve. These recommendations include input from youth with lived experience, diversification within Larkin Street’s BOD, and improved communication between Larkin’s BOD and YAB. This partnership with YAB allowed us to hear directly from the youth, who fiercely advocate for themselves and their peers with ingenuity and vision The BOD working group was honored to hear dynamic youth perspectives from the YAB. I am certainly proud to be in this advisory role, supporting the execution of Larkin Street’s five year strategic plan to eliminate the problem of youth homelessness.
Being from the East Coast and seeing firsthand the impact of housing insecurity, mental illness, and how they are connected to generational poverty and racism, I must say that Larkin Street’s vision and methods for eliminating homelessness are unmatched. Additionally, having benefited from employment programs like INROADS, (a national business internship program for multicultural students), starting at 17, it feels good to pay it forward by advocating for today’s youth leaders.
My passion for Larkin Street is rooted in its long-standing and proven strategies for solving this pervasive problem and in its ability to truly see and meet the needs of San Francisco’s youth experiencing homelessness. Many thanks to Sherilyn for her leadership, as well as Larkin Street’s behavioral health teams, program leaders, executive team, and administrators who keep Larkin Street’s programs running smoothly through challenges and unforeseen changes. As we continue working towards these initiatives with YAB, I am committed to hearing the insights of young people. Using those insights to inform the perspective of our board, we actively and respectfully center youth voices, ideas, strategies, and recommendations because this is the only way we can eliminate youth homelessness for good.
In support of our dynamic youth,
Larkin Street Board of Directors Member
Chair of Board Recruitment and Governance Committee