Youth Homelessness: You don’t have to be wealthy to help others you just need to care

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(GTU) – Did you know that an estimated 5,000 youth experience homelessness for at least one night a year in Utah? Yes, it’s true, and It an enormous problem.

Recently the shortage of help for the homeless youth has been tackled by non-profit organizations across the state. Previously, government policy prevented organizations from helping.

“There was a largest barrier to providing services to homeless youth in Utah was a law prohibiting the opening of shelter facilities for youth.”

Kristin Mitchell, Youth Futures

In 2014, a bill was passed, which allowed for rewriting the prohibitive law and drafting licensing procedures for residential support programs for temporary homeless youth shelters in Utah. Youth Futures opened Utah’s first homeless Residential Support Temporary Youth Shelter on February 20, 2015, with 14 temporary overnight shelter beds located in the heart of downtown Ogden.

July’s Community Advocate

This month’s Community Advocate is Kristin Mitchell who started a non-profit called Youth Futures in Salt Lake City. Located in the heart of downtown Ogden and St. George, Utah (pictured below). Youth Futures provides emergency shelter, temporary residence, and supportive services for runaway, homeless, unaccompanied, and at-risk youth ages 12-18. The shelter is open 24 hours per day.

Youth Futures was founded by Kristen Mitchell and Scott Catuccio, who had been conceptually planning to provide shelter and case management services to youth for over six years.

“Youth are guided in a loving, supportive and productive way, encouraging their own personal path for a healthy future.”

Kristin Mitchell, Youth Futures

Now in full flow, Youth Futures and volunteers like you, now service and provide safe shelter, collaborative resources, respectful guidance, and diverse support to homeless, unaccompanied, runaway, and at-risk youth in Northern and Southern Utah. To prevent and overcome homelessness, it takes to support and respectful guidance from a community that cares. Kristin started as a volunteer and has now made a huge difference. – Volunteer Here.

Youth Futures’ Street Outreach is conducted twice per week and provides outreach and crisis services on the streets to youth in Ogden and St. George, Utah. Drop-in services allow for the youth to access food, clothing, hygiene items, laundry facilities, computer stations, and case management. Drop-in hours are 6:30 am to 8:00 pm every day of the week.

Youth Futures also does weekly outreach that assists in building rapport with street youth, ensuring they receive food and other basic necessities, and educating them about options to living in unsafe conditions.

All these amazing services are kept alive through various donations. Their programming creates a world where underprivileged youth can access a safe and affirming place to call home while realigning their lives in a positive direction. Any cash contribution helps Youth Futures support vulnerable youth in your community.

Click here to visit Youth Future’s GiveSmart site where you can make a one-time donation, give on a monthly basis or start your own fundraiser.

Nominate Someone

If you know a person who has helped someone in need, please fill out this form to nominate them!

The most generous nominee will be selected and announced on Good Things Utah weekly. Each month, a new winner will be featured on Good Things Utah as recognition for their service. They will also receive a gift certificate for dinner and a movie.

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