Stand Up for Kids received $17,000 to transition “last chance” homeless youth in Orange County off the streets.

Description of how the funds will be used:
This grant will help homeless youth without hope or normal opportunities. Their young lives are impacted by violence, fear, loneliness and isolation. They yearn for a better life but have no clue how to get it. Funds will immediately transition approximately 200 ‘last chance’ young people aged 12-24 off the streets, expanding this already successful Orange County program to the streets of Santa Ana.

Description of Project/Program, what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address:
Trained volunteers will scout the streets of Santa Ana searching for youth living unsheltered or couch surfing. They provide immediate housing support, medical aid and emergency assistance (food, clothing, hygiene items and survival kits).

The second phase of Street Outreach is mentoring. All youth follow the “Journey Road Map to Success”, a six-stage program that includes activities and workshops. Weekly one-on-one mentoring creates a family-like trust, providing the support and compassion needed to become self-sufficient.

Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards-

High Impact & Life Transforming:
Youth are immediately impacted when they are relocated from the streets to a safe place to sleep and receive food and emergency supplies. The transformative “Journey Road Map to Success” program provides on-going mentoring, builds self-esteem, helps create goals, visions and hope for their own futures. SUFK has a success rate of 85%.

Education:
Participants without high school diplomas are supported with tutoring and funding to take GED courses and pass the high school equivalency exam. SUFK offers a range of continuing support programs including a College Advisement Program, High School Continuation Program, Internship, Entrepreneur, STEM and MiFi Computer Programs.

Sustainability:
StandUp for Kids is a nationwide organization founded in 1990. They fundraise through written appeals, a Giving Tuesday campaign, board Friendraising, grants, corporations, and individual donors.

Community Building:
Collaboration is at the center of what SUFK does. Partnerships include Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo and Irvine Police Departments; Waymaker’s Shelter, the Human Trafficking TF, Mercy House, the Orange County TAY Collaborative, the County Continuum of Care, OC United to End Homelessness; many local colleges and school districts.

Innovative:
SUFK is the ONLY OC program providing street outreach and wrap-around services to homeless and at-risk youth. The Roadmap to Success program provides all the support, skills and drive needed to reach permanent self-sufficiency. New initiatives are constantly added to support at-risk youth. Every volunteer receives a copy of SUFK’s “Journey to Success” Notebook which walks them through their volunteer process step-by-step. This program has proved so successful, it is now being offered to new chapters nationwide.

Measurable:
SUFK’s intake assessment includes a 37-item Youth Asset Survey, which is repeated after 6 months and measures assets such as self-esteem, values, goals and successful transition to permanent housing.

Organization’s Mission Statement:
Ending the cycle of youth homelessness in cities across America, one youth at a time. We strive to build communities where all youth know care, feel valued, and have a support system to help them move quickly from surviving to thriving.

Link to the website: www.StandupforKids.org/orangecounty