Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support of Larkin Street Youth Services. Together, we’ve reached a critical time in the work to end youth homelessness. We face huge challenges – devastating gun violence, federal policy changes that negatively impact those we serve, and the sheer number of young people still on the streets. But at the same time, we see young people using their voices for good and galvanizing this moment to fight for what they think is right. They are pushing us all to do more, to be courageous, and to hold each other accountable.
Here at Larkin Street, we are working harder than ever to strengthen and expand our services, particularly behavioral health, outreach and housing. Too many young people – more than 1,300 on any given night in San Francisco – are still on the street. They end up there because of abuse or neglect, or family rejection because they identify as LGBTQ. Nearly 90% of young people report they experienced abuse prior to becoming homeless (to learn more, read our new Incidence and Needs Report).
To help these young people break the cycle of homelessness, we must provide so much more than just a bed for the night. We must provide comprehensive services including mental health care to address their trauma, and education and employment programs to help them become self-sufficient over the long-run and ensure they have the tools needed to thrive in today’s job market.
A continuum of services this robust is only possible through strong partnerships on many levels. We need better systems, policies, and resources. Some examples of this include the State Bill 918 as well as major new funding from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The City of San Francisco, too, has increased its investment in youth this year and we will soon launch a new partnership with the Young Adult Court. And the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development added more funds to its Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project. Read more about all these exciting developments in our update on the latest public support for youth.
We are ecstatic about the new and increased investments in youth at the local, state and federal levels. This, too, is galvanizing the movement as folks join us in this work, helping one young person at a time in service of the ultimate vision of ending youth homelessness. The time is now to come together and make a lasting impact on this crisis. There is still so much to be done. We need you, our community of supporters, to continue your hard work – funding, advocacy, and ongoing engagement – so that we can scale the deeper services like behavioral health, employment, and education that help young people get off the street for good.
Your continued commitment to the movement to end youth homelessness can help create the circumstances in which no young person will have to sleep on the street again.
Thank you for pushing forward with us.