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Keeping youth off the streets in New York

Special Interest Programme / Partner story

Photo: © Streetwork / Safe Horizon

Every night, 4,000 youth are homeless in New York City. There are numerous paths to homelessness for young people; many have experienced family abuse, violence, or rejection – perhaps due to sexual orientation, gender identity or mental health and behavioural issues. There is also a lack of support for young adults when they age out of foster care or detention. Many simply have nowhere to go.

Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Project provides safe, non-judgemental places for these young people to find shelter and support. It has two drop-in centres in Manhattan’s Harlem and Lower East Side neighbourhoods, as well as a night shelter. Streetwork also does street outreach, bringing resources and information to the young people where they are and helping them to find shelter.

At the drop-in centres, young people are given a warm welcome and a space to use as they wish – to take a shower, have a hot meal or sleep, or participate in a pottery group or parenting class. They might need advice on a range of challenges they face, such as accessing financial assistance, more permanent housing or the job market.

Streetwork also has counsellors on-site and works with partners to help meet the medical and mental health needs of its clients. Streetwork hopes to reach more young people in the coming years and to further extend the assistance it offers.

This grant falls under the Special Interest Programme, which you can find more information about here. Oak’s Special Interest grants cover a wide range of fields, including health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts.

Source: Oak Foundation Annual Report 2018