This note serves as the first of several updates that I am planning to publish this year providing an in-depth view of our work. I hope you will find it meaningful and will let me know what you think.
Sasha Bruce has grown to be the largest and most experienced provider of services for homeless youth in the nation’s capital. We help young people find safe homes, achieve and maintain good physical and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, and explore opportunities in education and careers. Your commitment is one critical reason we truly have a life-saving impact.
Drop-in Centers Success
Our Drop-in Centers are now solidly established within their respective neighborhoods and serve ¾ of the homeless youth population in DC. These centers meet the most immediate needs of our homeless clients which include crisis intervention, conflict resolution and counseling services. Our work includes three meals a day, and a variety of practical supports including laundry, educational instruction, case management and workforce preparation. We also help young people access shelter or transitional living and keep them hopeful about finding a permanent and stable place to live.
Robust Family Support Services
Last year, we initiated special family supports for our clients. The goal is to reach young people on the streets as soon as they are identified as runaways. When a “missing person” call goes out, the City immediately connects with the parents and Sasha Bruce is called to mediate between the youth and their families. Thanks to this initiative, we see the potential to do even more to close the gaps in family support services in our shelters and other housing programs.
Thanks to a founding gift, Sasha Bruce will launch the Lukey Kaempfer Transformation Project to prepare our clients to enter college, provide them with admissions support, and coordinate college planning with each participant. We will invest in the education and training of five youth in year one, plus an additional five in subsequent years. We hope to grow the financial resources for this program to $1.2 million over the next couple years. I will certainly provide updates on this exciting program as it develops. We are committed to each of these cadres of youth finishing college and becoming mentors for future groups.
Our Benefit to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness was held on April 17 at the National Building Museum. We raised nearly $600,000, and more importantly, we heightened awareness of proven alternatives to youth homelessness. I will not forget the tremendous spirit of that special evening.
Thank you for your commitment to Sasha Bruce. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like additional information about the activities mentioned here or our other ongoing work.
Executive Director and Founder