Since opening our doors nearly five years ago, HOPE 4 Youth has grown from a tiny seed into a strong, deep-rooted tree with many branches – “One Tree, Many Branches”. We know that the need for HOPE 4 Youth has never been greater with the number of homeless young people who visit the Drop-In Center climbing from 369 in 2015 to more than 900 different youth already this year. Your nurturing of our “one tree” has allowed us to grow many branches – programs – that are providing these young people with the tools that they need to become independent, self-sustained and housed adults.
HOPE 4 Youth is the last hope for many homeless youth in our community. They face things every day that you likely can’t imagine. Many of them sleep in their cars, on a park bench, or couch-hop between friends and wait until the doors of the Drop-In Center open so that they can eat a meal, take a hot shower, or visit the clothing closet. We help them find employment, finish their education, and secure housing – all things they need to leave their status of homeless in the past.
We always knew that there were more branches on our tree than just the Drop-In Center. At the end of 2016, we opened HOPE Place, our transitional living program, which allows 12 formerly homeless young people at a time to learn the skills they need to walk out the door as a self-sufficient adult. We also built partnerships within the community to meet medical needs through HOPE Clinic and spiritual needs through HOPE TreeHouse, as well as, reach out through Street Outreach.
We know that we are changing the lives of homeless young people and because of this have decided that it’s time to “grow” new branches. Within the next few months, HOPE 4 Youth will guiding, in partnership, the St. Cloud Rotary to open Pathways 4 Youth, their own Youth Opportunity Center that is a replication of our Anoka Drop-In Center. We thought, “if it works in our community, why not help homeless youth in another community?” And because we are growing, we are in need of additional financial support, so in early 2018, we will be opening hope’s closet, a trendy and charming re-sale boutique in Champlin with 100% of the profits going immediately back into HOPE 4 Youth programs. And the best part of all, in partnership with the Anoka County Workforce Center we will offer a retail sales and management employment program there for any of our youth who are interested in that career pathway. A win-win!
Take a moment to imagine the growth of HOPE 4 Youth, from that tiny seed into “One Tree, Many Branches”. HOPE 4 Youth has grown into one tree with many branches because of you. You are the roots that have nurtured HOPE 4 Youth into “One Tree, Many Branches” and we cannot continue to branch out to help more homeless youth without you. Once again we are asking for your support, this time to close 2017 financially strong so that in 2018 our tree can reach heights we’ve never imagined before. Please consider a gift of $50, $100, $500 or more. Whatever you can give is so appreciated by our youth, myself and our team.
Lisa K Jacobson