Thank you for believing in a world where all young people can grow and thrive. Because of you, this past year has been one of growth and transformation.
Like each of you, the young people we serve have spent the past year adapting to a new normal. With your unwavering support, nine out of ten young people who completed our long-term housing programs exited to safe and stable housing!
In the nearly 40 years that we’ve been around, we’ve been aware there is no one-size-fits-all approach to youth homelessness. Our housing programs go beyond providing a safe place to sleep. They are, importantly, where young people find community with their peers and staff members. This past year, we’ve committed to growing our housing options to provide a diverse array to a youth population with unique needs.
Since our last Annual Report, we’ve had some significant housing additions! Through our partnership with Dolores Street Community Services, we secured two new housing programs in San Francisco – Mission Inn and Casa Esperanza – both outside of the Tenderloin, and both slated to open their doors in the next few months.
Additionally, after years of conversations and negotiations, Larkin Street has opened its first-ever housing expansion in the East Bay. Turning Point in Berkeley, formerly run by Fred Finch Youth and Family Services, will serve young people in the East Bay. With these new housing additions, Larkin Street now houses up to 500 young people on any given night!
While we continue to listen to the needs of young people and tailor our programs accordingly, none of what we’ve accomplished this year would have been possible without our talented staff. And it will come as no surprise that the Bay Area’s post-pandemic reality has made it harder to retain skilled workers.
At the same time, we continue to hear from the young people we serve that they most value community and partnership in their journey out of homelessness. Fortunately, that’s just what our excellent staff members provide. We will continue to advocate for equitable pay for nonprofit workers. This long-overdue evolution is essential and more urgent than ever.
Finally, we would like to celebrate the success of Rising Up, a private-public partnership launched by Mayor London Breed to reduce homelessness for those aged 18 to 24. The campaign has successfully raised $50 million and has helped 570 young people find a path out of youth homelessness.
As our programs grow, so does our gratitude to each of you, who each day help young people get off the streets for good. This coming year, we look forward to expanding our footprint in both San Francisco and the East Bay. We’ll get there, and when we do, it will be because you were standing in solidarity with us.
Thank you for empowering young people to move beyond homelessness.
Sherilyn and Eric