National statistics report the number of homeless youth at over 1.5 million. Over 500 thousand are under the age of 15, some as young as nine. On average the age range seen on Phoenix area streets is 13 to 18.
StandUp for Kids Phoenix Metro is one of the oldest SUFK programs in the nation. The Phoenix Metro program has been active since 1992. Our two main programs, Street Outreach and our Youth Center, help about 100 youth per week across the Phoenix Metropolitan and Tempe areas. These programs help homeless youth with, what most of us take for granted, a hot meal, a hot shower, and laundry services for clean clothes. We strive to create a family environment and stress tolerance and acceptance. The mission at the national level is to end the cycle of youth homelessness. On the local level, our Phoenix program aims to connect the community in an effort to help homeless youth become successful adults.
Our Street Outreach teams walk the streets and visit shelters week after week looking for homeless youth in need of help and guidance. Youth are provided with basic necessities such as food, water, clothing and hygiene. Volunteers work to gain the youth’s trust and invite the youth to the Our House Youth Center.
We have rented and fixed up two rundown houses in central Phoenix to use as a youth center. Our House Youth Center (OHYC) was established to provide a safe environment for homeless youth. The OHYC is a drop-in center where the youth can get a hot meal, take a shower, wash clothes, use the computer or participate in many of the scheduled activities. Our volunteers help youth with GED tutoring, job searches, apartment support, and resume building. Volunteers provide a family environment for the youth by listening to their fears and concerns, and serve as counselors and good role models.
We are also in the process of creating a Community Outreach program. Small groups made up of volunteers and advanced youth will reach out the community (businesses, schools, groups, and clubs) in an effort to raise awareness about youth homelessness and develop ways they can get involved and help in our mission.
Join our team to help make a difference locally in the fight against homelessness. Check out our current volunteer opportunities.