Q: How is YES different from other programs?
is grounded in the core value of youth
helping youth. Formerly homeless
youth/young adults build empathetic, supportive relationships with youth
clients and offer hope that they can make it through their
experiences of homelessness.
YES is a program of Strong City Baltimore which serves as an incubator and fiscal sponsor for
grassroots community based programs and projects working for social justice,
like YES. YES is staffed primarily by
formerly homeless young adults who serve as peer counselors and youth
interns. Ally staff supports peer staff
administratively and programmatically.
YES Drop-In Center is a safe space
for youth, who are homeless and between ages 14 and
25, to get basic needs met and establish supportive relationships with peer
counselors and allies that help them make and sustain connections to long-term
resources and opportunities. YES
operates drop-in during the hours of 2:00pm-6:00pm,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and by appointment at other times during the week. Health,
mental health, and legal service providers visit YES weekly in order to ensure that the youth receive the professional
support they need. YES also offers
workshops, classes and fun activities, such as a Stress Management/Meditation
workshop, Money Management class, Game Night, and Craft Night.
Q: How many young people has YES assisted, and how?
Through approximately 4,000 drop-ins and client contacts, YES served 213 unique youth within the fiscal year (FY) of 2014 (from July 2013 through June 2014). In FY 2014, YES conducted an individual, in-depth assessment with every single youth participant, helping 154 clients develop individual Action Plans, 759 one-on-one counseling sessions, coordinating and hosting over 200 meetings between participants and legal, medical or mental health professionals, as well as countless appointments off-site. YES also helped 101 youth apply for employment through 355 separate sessions, resulting in 52 different jobs for YES youth.
Additionally, YES helped participants’
access services for long-term stability by: assisting 87% of eligible youth in acquiring identity
documents, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and photo IDs, assisting 70% of eligible youth to apply for public
benefits, including health insurance, providing housing assistance to 79% of
youth participants. During FY 2014,
this resulted in YES connecting 37 of our eligible youth to temporary (24)
or permanent housing (13).
In January 2011 the Center for
Adolescent Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
documented 640 unaccompanied homeless youth in Baltimore based upon a one day
“census.” However, this is certainly an under-count as it is only a reflection of the young people who sought out
services at the handful of service providers in the city catering to homeless
Baltimore has only one youth
shelters with a total of 8 beds for homeless youth under age 18; older youth
(18-24) must stay in the adult shelter system because no shelter exists
specifically for this age group.
Building on our work last year to help pass and participate in Maryland’s first Task Force to Study Housing and Supportive Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (UHY), YES youth and staff worked diligently with community partners to pass two bills in the 2014 MD General Assembly.
þ Passed! HB794/SB794 – Maryland’s Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Count and Demonstration Project. This project will gather data about the prevalence and characteristics of UHY in six MD regions, including Baltimore City.
þ Passed! HB482/SB455 – Tuition Exemption for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. This new law expands the college tuition exemption available to foster care youth to include UHY.
YES has been and is currently working with the BHYI Coalition to push for expanded resources and funding for targeted resources for homeless youth in Baltimore City and throughout the state of Maryland.
Q: How is YES funded?
YES is funded and supported by the Mayor’s Office of Human Services: Homeless Services Program, Baltimore Community Foundation’s Leonard & Helen R. Stulman Charitable Foundation and People’s Emergency Fund, Catholic Campaign for Human Development Archdiocese of Baltimore, Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation, David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation, John J. Leidy Foundation, Merritt Properties, Youth As Resources, Women's Giving Circle, Abell Foundation, Kenneth S. Battye Charitable Trust, and the Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund and Fund for Change.
YES is also supported by countless individual donors and partner organizations that have helped outfit our space, make sure we have food, clothing, hygiene and other products for youth, and more. But YES needs additional support to continue providing our valuable services. Please donate today!