Utah organization provides essentials to homeless amid COVID-19 pandemic

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OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Youth Futures will begin serving homeless individuals through its Street Outreach Program (“SOP”) after a hiatus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They received approval from the Weber County Health Department.

Youth Futures was required to discontinue street outreach in early March due to safety concerns, causing those experiencing homelessness on the street to be without vital services for four weeks, according to officials.

Officials say the SOP is designed to meet clients “where they are” to build rapport, provide critical basic necessities and encourage homeless youth to access shelter services. Starting on Monday, April 13, 2020, the Street Outreach Team (“SOT”) say they will be back on the streets addressing the rapidly growing needs of homeless individuals in Weber County.

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In addition to hygiene and crisis services, SOT says they have expanded their outreach to provide sack lunches and other basic necessities. The team has also extended hours to provide outreach services five days a week (as compared to two days per week, previously). For many of the homeless individuals serviced, officials say SOP is one of the only food sources available during the pandemic.

The SOT is taking appropriate precautions and following social distancing guidelines to ensure both staff and clients are safe. The safety protocol to resume street outreach efforts was created collaboratively with the Weber-Morgan Health Department, Midtown Community Health Center, as well as Weber County and State of Utah officials.

The street outreach efforts are primarily funded through emergency funding granted by the State of Utah Homeless Coordinating Committee, according to officials.

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Youth Futures has also partnered up with the local community to provide these essential items to people on the streets: Hammer Spring Distillery donated hand sanitizer; Lantern House provided hygiene products, and Mount Olympus Water and Pepsi donated bottled water. Many other members of the community have donated food, water, and cleaning supplies to ensure both clients and the SOT are safe. Youth Futures is extremely grateful that its partners and members of the community have stepped up to help those experiencing homelessness in the community.

Monetary donations are always welcome and can be made at the organization’s website. Youth Futures is also accepting donated supplies at its facility located at 2760 Adams Avenue in Ogden.

Requested items include:

  • Single-Wrapped Snacks (chips, cookies, fruit cups, etc.)
  • First Aid Kits
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Cleaning Wipes

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