JLSD Community Partner Spotlight: Urban Street Angels

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Urban Street Angels, founded in 2012, is a non-profit addressing youth homelessness in San Diego, CA and beyond. They began as a small group of volunteers hitting the streets of Ocean Beach several times a month, with backpacks of supplies and home-cooked meals to hand out. They quickly discovered that San Diego has a vast number of resources dedicated toward feeding and supplying the homeless. However, a key service was missing – transitional housing and work programs for transition-aged youth.

Their current mission aims to end youth homelessness by providing supportive housing and job training to cultivate personal responsibility. Urban Street Angels operates an emergency overnight shelter for 20-25, which provides much needed love and support for San Diego’s young homeless population. Their shelter currently operates on Tuesday nights at Mission Gathering Church in North Park, and on two or more Fridays a month at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

In addition to addressing the immediate needs of San Diego’s homeless youth, many of their shelter guests go on to join their housing and transitional employment, 8 West, where they receive the training and support necessary to leave the streets behind for good. The 8 West team members make and sell organic soaps and artisan products, creating an income to help offset the costs of operating the shelters and empowering the youth.

JLSD has partnered with Urban Street Angels for 4 years, contributing hundreds of dollars worth of hygiene supplies through annual Impact Shift drives, and providing dinners at their shelter coordinated through JLSD’s Impact Committee. This year, ​​Urban Street Angel’s Director of Operations also presented at our annual Community Partner Breakfast and brought tears to the eyes of our “sold out” event. 

Social Workers from Urban Street Angels/8 West attended Solutions Summit​ and  Brand of Brothers to share their mission and collaborate on ways to help transition age youth in San Diego. 

JLSD Human Trafficking Awareness Rally

The 5th Annual Junior League of San Diego Anti-Human Trafficking rally was held in Balboa Park on January 13, 2018.

Speakers included 53rd Congressional District Congresswoman Susan Davis; San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan; Assembly Member Brian Maienschein of California’s 77th State Assembly District; Jamie Quient, President of Free to Thrive; Joseph Travers, Executive Director of Saved In America; Todd Hemmen, Supervisory Special Agent, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Derek Neth, Special Agent, Homeland Security Investigations.

The following Community Partners participated, sharing information and tools to help educate San Diego about human trafficking in our midst: Alabaster Jar Project, Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, Casa de Amparo, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office, FBI, Free to Thrive, Point Loma Nazarene University, The Salvation Army, Saved In America, Survivor Leader network in San Diego, and the US Department of Homeland Security.

 

 

 

 

 

Solutions Summit 2018: Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an ongoing problem with foster youth in the United States and will be an area of focus at the Junior League of San Diego’s 4th Annual Solution Summit. There will be more than 40 organizations coming together for discussion and problem-solving on short and long-term solutions for domestic violence within the Transition-Age Foster Youth (TAY) population.

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In a study with 339 17-year-old emancipated foster youths selected from the Missouri Children’s Division Youth, more than 75% reported some type of maltreatment in the past. Fifty-two youth qualified as meeting criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In another study, researchers used a psychoeducational program (The Youth Relationships Project) to prevent abusive behavior and promote healthy nonviolent relationships for youth who have experienced previous maltreatment.  Youth aged 14-16 years of age were identified through Child Protected Services agencies and were randomized to the program (intervention) versus no intervention.  Over half the youth in the study were foster youth.  Over the period of the study, those who received the intervention were less physically abusive towards partners and reported less physical, emotion and threatening forms of abuse by their partners and themselves.

The Junior League of San Diego will bring together over 40 organizations at Solutions Summit 2018 for discussion and problem-solving focusing on how learnings from these studies can be applied to help TAY in San Diego.

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References:
Jonson-Reid, M., Scott, Lionel D. , McMillen, J. Curtis, Edmond, Tonya. (2007). “Dating violence among emancipating foster youth”. Children and Youth Services Review. Volume 29, Issue 5, Pages 557-571, ISSN 0190-7409, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2006.12.008.
Wolfe, D. A., Wekerle, C., Scott, K., Straatman, A. L., Grasley, C., & Reitzel-Jaffe, D. (2003). Dating violence prevention with at-risk youth: a controlled outcome evaluation. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 71(2), 279.

Solutions Summit 2018: Housing

Studies show at least 20 percent of foster youth experience homelessness as they emancipate from foster care. The Junior League of San Diego’s 4th Annual Solution Summit will bring together more than 40 organizations for discussion and problem-solving focusing on how learning from studies on foster youth homelessness can be applied to help TAY in San Diego.

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In San Diego, there are more than 3400 youths in foster care and an estimated 425 youths age out of the foster care annually and after aging out of foster care at least twenty percent of foster youth experience homelessness.

Several shortfalls have been identified in housing services provided to youth as they emancipate from foster care. Over half of the emancipated foster youth interviewed stated they were unprepared to live on their own at the time of discharge from foster care.

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Preventing homelessness before it occurs is the most cost-effective way to address homelessness. Characteristics of successful programs include flexibility in their design and funding, are youth centered and collaborate across agencies for foster care exit strategies. Youth who have participated in pre-emancipation independent living classes responded positively to the programs and these classes provide important opportunities for socialization.

The Junior League of San Diego will bring together over 40 organizations at Solutions Summit 2018 for discussion and problem-solving focusing on how learnings from these studies can be applied to help TAY in San Diego.

 

Solutions Summit 2018: An Introduction

The Junior League of San Diego is pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Solution Summit will be held on April 18, 2018. Solutions Summit is a collaborative, working conference for discussion and problem-solving the most pressing challenges facing the Transition-Age Foster Youth (TAY) population in San Diego. Click to learn more!

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The event will be held at Coronado Community Center on April 18, 2018.  Attendees from more 40 organizations come together at the event for discussion and problem-solving. Specific focus areas are chosen each year, with past examples including Wellness & Family Planning and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). The 2018 Summit will concentrate on short and long-term solutions for Domestic Violence and Housing.

Guest speakers for the 2018 event include Cassi Cain, President at Break the Silence; Jenna Jones, Housing and Advocacy Services Director at Center for Community Solutions; and Sherry Flores, Community Outreach Coordinator, at the Women’s Resource Center

Roadmaps developed at Solutions Summit will advance throughout the year via coordinated meetings and action items with small community partner groups from the event as well as Junior League TAY Task Forces. After further development and assessment, the TAY Task Forces implement these roadmaps in phases over an appropriate timeline.

One successful solution implemented from a past Solutions Summit is Junior League of San Diego’s Brand of Brothers event, first held in 2017 and scheduled again for March 22, 2018. Brand of Brothers is a large- scale wellness fair and resource event that specifically supports the male TAY population. At the event, young men meet with potential employers, “shop” for suits and interview clothing, receive haircuts and toiletry kits, get legal advice, and enjoy lunch and entertainment in a supportive environment.

The possibilities are endless when community leaders, former TAY, and the Junior League of San Diego gather to collaborate at the Solutions Summit. Please be sure to RSVP for the evening portion of this year’s Solutions Summit to listen to our community partners present their solutions. We’re looking forward to Solutions Summit 2018 and the inspired ideas and results that are sure to follow.

JLSD Community Partner Breakfast

On November 9, 2017, The Junior League of San Diego was excited to partner with Girl Scouts San Diego once again to hold the 2017 Community Partner Breakfast. To show appreciation for the hard work our community partners do, attendees enjoyed a hot breakfast buffet from Corner Bakery, a moving story of success from Youth Spotlight speaker Luciano Castillo, and the always engaging Jerry Troyer speaking about the programming and positive impact of Urban Street Angels and 8West.

New this year, the attendees had an opportunity to provide feedback on the Junior League’s impact on community needs. They also enjoyed connecting with the JLSD TAY Outcomes Taskforce and SPAC committee representatives for personal updates on upcoming projects/legislative action and how to get involved.

In addition to some special thank you gifts courtesy of The LOT and JLSD, each of the 60 attendees took home a reusable tote filled with give-aways and green shirts from UC Health System to recognize National Runaway and Homeless Youth Awareness Month. In support of the work each community partner does to support the Foster youth of San Diego, Adoption World Publishing and Dr. Jamie Schwandt’s also graciously provided each of the 60 attendees with Dr. Schwandt’s new workbook “Succeeding as a Foster Child.”

The Junior League of San Diego gives thanks to all our hard working community partners and we look forward to continuing our work together to impact the lives of youth in our area!