This year, our Larkin Street Academy (LSA) team is committed to serving our young people even more deeply while continuing to address ongoing needs. During the past year, LSA faced many challenges. The pandemic forced education programs to migrate online, making it harder to engage with students. Our team also identified a student loan crisis as many young people are having to choose between working and going to school. Among high school age youth, we saw an increase of young people who have dropped out of school and do not have a common, key factors that drive youth homelessness.

These challenges motivated our LSA team to work even harder and find solutions. The team worked to improve best practices in the program by creating a LSA specific quarterly client satisfaction survey and providing specialized training in harm reduction for staff. Additionally, they have started focus groups with young people in order to discuss and gather feedback on online learning. A monthly newsletter helps the entire agency keep track of the team’s progress as well as challenges.

These changes are paying off! Our Employment Success Services program has placed 85 young people in jobs this year—that’s 85 young people making money on their own while also obtaining industry skills to build out their resumes. This month, our Learning Center will be hosting a class series that will help young people come away with an industry recognized certificate—the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. Currently, our Academic Support program is gearing up to help young people apply to colleges for Spring 2022!

A huge thanks to our LSA team for their hard work and for your continuous support that makes this work possible. To read more from our Fall 2021 newsletter, click here.