In an impactful visit that underscored the significance of youth-centered initiatives, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF) Commissioner Rebecca Jones Gaston recently explored one of our housing sites. The visit showcased the comprehensive array of services offered within our programs, spanning wellness, education, and workforce development. This visit not only highlighted the remarkable progress achieved through ACYF funding but also emphasized the vital role of collaboration and open dialogue in shaping these initiatives.

During her visit, Commissioner Jones Gaston took the opportunity to immerse herself in our housing site’s ecosystem. She delved into the heart of our programs, gaining insights into the multifaceted support structure provided to young people navigating their paths to self-sufficiency.

A significant highlight of the visit was the candid interaction Commissioner Jones Gaston had with the young people in our programs. With genuine interest, she listened to their stories, experiences, and perspectives, allowing them to openly express their thoughts on their journey through our programs.

In these conversations, Commissioner Jones Gaston sought to understand the impact of the services, as well as areas for improvement. Her direct inquiry into the young people’s experiences, coupled with her encouragement for them to voice their needs, underscored her commitment to creating spaces where young voices are valued and acknowledged.

A key takeaway from the commissioner’s visit was her call for continued advocacy by the youth themselves. This advocacy, she noted, would not only serve to enhance the services provided but would also elevate the awareness among decision-makers regarding the issues faced by young people experiencing homelessness.

Commissioner Jones Gaston’s visit to our housing site reaffirmed the transformative power of ACYF funding. Years of support from ACYF have enabled us to create impactful programs that create pathways for young people to thrive. Through this visit, a powerful message was conveyed – that collaborative efforts, transparent dialogue, and unwavering advocacy can pave the way for even greater positive change in the lives of young people.

We are so grateful for this visit, reminding us of the crucial role of proactive engagement in ensuring that the services we offer are responsive and effective.