Many, many thanks to our loyal supporters…you have made a real difference in the lives of homeless and disconnected youth! As we wave good-bye to 2016, let us take a moment to review some of Sasha Bruce Youthwork’s many accomplishments over the past year.
Our core strength remains our broad spectrum of programs that meet homeless and low-income youth’s multiple needs. Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY) continues to lead the campaign to prevent youth homelessness in the Washington DC area. Our Bruce House and Promise Place shelters continue to run at capacity, and our longer-term housing and street outreach programs are thriving. Indeed, all of our programs continued their important work this past year.
We were successful in late 2015 with a bid to the District’s Department of Human Services to expand our transitional housing program for homeless young women and their babies, as well as an entirely new initiative to offer a Homeless Youth Drop-in Center. The new Drop-in Center is particularly noteworthy as it uses a harm reduction framework to meet the basic needs of unaccompanied “street” youth up to the age of 24. We opened the doors to this one-of-a-kind program in March. The Drop-in Center is an integrated service in which youth frequently transition from street-based contact, to the Drop-in Center to shelter to transitional housing. Service plans are developed in partnership with each youth and, whenever feasible, her/his family members. Harm reduction plans are a first step, and are followed by comprehensive service plans. It is important to note that our Drop-in Center is the foundation of the District’s homeless youth coordinated entry, assessment and referral system. Since opening in March, the Drop-in Center has had a total of 738 visits by 124 young people. A total of 25 youth have been placed in housing – the other 99 youth have been supported in identifying a safe place to stay, including with friends, family, and shelter while they remain on the wait-list for housing. We’ve offered 186 showers, 215 hygiene kits and 136 loads of laundry. Our staff and volunteers also have provided breakfast, lunch and dinner daily for a total of 703 meals served.
This past year also has seen the strengthening of our agency’s administrative infrastructure. A new Chief of Programs, Sheila Clark, and a Chief of Operations, Patrick Gusman, came on board during the early part of 2016. Some other organizational accomplishments this past year included:
- We’ve improved our agency’s website (www.sashabruce.org) and created outstanding marketing materials…many thanks to Peter Anthony and ReingoldLink;
- We completed the first implementation year of our Strategic Plan to ensure the viability of our mission into the future…many thanks to our governing Board of Directors;
- We held our third large-scale fundraising event to continue our Campaign to End Youth Homelessness at Dock5, raising $500,000…many thanks to Liz Moore, our Board of Directors and Event Chairs.
Our work during 2016 demonstrates the enduring commitment of our many supporters. Through your friendship, and the expertise of our staff and volunteers, Sasha Bruce Youthwork continues to offer hope to thousands of young people with nowhere else to turn. Review our finances and the measurable outcomes of our work through our Consolidated 2016 Annual Report.
Peace and Health,
James Beck, Vice President of Planning, Development and Evaluation