As we celebrate our 35th anniversary, your ongoing commitment to ensuring that every young person can reach their full potential means so much!
Read more about our results, financials, supporters, events and special guests throughout the last year in our 2018-2019 Annual Impact Report (click here to view)
Below, we’re including the full text of the letter from our Executive Director, Sherilyn Adams, and Board Chair, Susan K. Alexander, with their update on the past year, and what’s ahead:
We’re thrilled to invite you to join us in celebrating 35 years of empowering young people to reach their potential. Since Larkin Street opened its doors in 1984, we’ve helped more than 75,000 young people move past homelessness, and we’re not stopping now.
The need continues to be real and immediate. This year’s San Francisco Homeless Point-in-Time Count Report shows more than 1,100 young people on the streets or in shelters on any given night. Youth of color and LGBTQ youth are impacted by homelessness at higher rates due to institutional racism, homophobia, and failures of other systems. The Count data also shows a double-digit increase in instances of abuse, as well as greater challenges in obtaining and maintaining living wage jobs, and finally, ongoing housing unaffordability.
In our new strategic plan, launched this year, we committed to an ambitious goal: Reducing youth homelessness by 50% by 2023.
35 years have taught us that our wrap-around model of providing housing, healthcare, education, and employment services is key to helping young people get off the street for good. Our new strategic plan affirms that solving homelessness for all begins with solving it for youth of color and LGBTQ youth. We are amplifying youth voice and leadership, both internally and externally, while focusing on relationship-building and using data to drive continuous learning and improvement.
At the core of our work is a stellar team that guides each young person individually through these programs. Appropriately staff sustainability is among our key strategic priorities, as well as expanding and optimizing our employment, mental health, and outreach services for youth. None of this can happen in a vacuum, and our relationships with our partners across government, business, and other service providers will continue to be key in reaching our goal.
As we look back on the past 35 years, we’re also looking ahead to a future where youth homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time. It’s common to be skeptical, especially given the increases in chronic homelessness throughout the state. But we know it’s crucial to have hope. The 10% decrease in youth homelessness in San Francisco since 2017 gives us hope, as do the young people we serve.
Our work isn’t just about moving people out of homelessness, it’s about helping them move from surviving to thriving and embracing life. It’s about wanting the same success for Larkin Street youth that we want for every young person – jobs, an education, and a place to call their own. When we think big, big things can happen.
Thanks to all of you for joining us in the belief that we can end youth homelessness. Your support is integral to making this future a reality.
In gratitude and community,
Sherilyn Adams, Executive Director
Susan K. Alexander, Chair, Board of Directors
To view the full 2018-2019 Annual Impact Report, click here.
Interested in learning more about how you can help? Get involved with Larkin Street.