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It’s the Little Things…

Kimmy was 5 years old when she and her five sisters were taken from their abusive mother. Then at 16, her grandmother who had taken her in, passed away, leaving Kimmy nowhere to go. Years of intermittent homelessness has taken its toll on her. She has been beaten and raped, used methamphetamines, and spent time in jail.

In 2016, she came to Wind Youth Services. It has been a long road to stability for Kimmy. She has worked diligently with her case manager to stay clean and sober. She just interviewed for a job and received a Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) voucher for her own apartment.

Her dynamic personality made her the perfect choice for a modeling gig at Goodwill’s Sip, Style and Shop event on April 28.  “I love to try on clothes and just have fun with them,” says Kimmy. “Everyone was so nice and it made me feel good to have someone style just me!”

Kimmy was styled by several of the stylists and was beyond thrilled when Goodwill let her keep all the outfits! “I couldn’t believe it, I was wondering what I was going to wear on my job interview, and they said I could have the outfits. Then I had to choose what to wear for the first time!”


Kimmy is always anxious to help and loves to show her gratitude for all that our donors and staff at Wind do. On Big Day of Giving, Kimmy filmed a social media clip for Wind’s Facebook page, which definitely helped us raise nearly $22,000!

Stories like Kimmy’s are not unusual to hear. Many of the youth we see have experienced not just one, but multiple traumas. Your continued support on Big Day of Giving and throughout the year, allows Wind to give more youth, like Kimmy, the resources to become self-sufficient.

Year-End Giving Season

As the colors of fall brighten the cloudy skies, our days become shorter and our nights become colder, we settle in to enjoy cozy evenings with family and friends. Conversations of holiday plans fill the air. However, for many young people in our community the blustery season brings cold lonely nights with no thought of family, only the thought of “where will I sleep?”

Among your outings around town, you may have noticed a young person huddled up against a building, no hat or raincoat, just a ratty old blanket wrapped around his shoulders. You may have wondered, “Where are his parents? Why isn’t he in school?”

The cold, wet young man is Alex. He never knew his dad. His mom died when he was 16.  Alex aged out of foster care when he was 21. He is now 22 years old and homeless.  As the day draws to an end, he carries his backpack and blanket hoping to find a safe place to sleep. During the day, he comes to Wind’s drop-in center. Alex calls it his “day home.”

The needs are great and never-ending. Will you consider the youth Wind serves this holiday season?

Think of Alex, and many youth like him, without a family, without a place to call home. Your support can give Alex a warm, safe, consistent place to sleep each night. Your gift can help Wind provide more than a “day home” to Alex.

For many of our youth, like Alex, Wind is their first chance at a better life, a life of stability and independence.

You may donate online at www.windyouth.org/donate.

Thank you for all you have done to support Wind Youth Services. Your donation changes lives.

In the spirit of the holidays,

Suzi Dotson, Executive Director

P.S.  Remember, just $100 provides a youth one night of shelter and case management – can you provide one night for teens like Alex?

Progress Being Made

While staying at the Transitional Housing Program(THP), Willie Parker, a 23-year-old homeless single father has made incredible progress on achieving sustainability. Since entering the THP, he has obtained his high school diploma, driver’s license and recently joined the Construction Labor Union.

His Case Manager at Wind, in conjunction with support from the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps (SRCC), has been able to help him achieve his goals; and while his journey is far from over, the progress he’s made has set him on the path to success. 

We love to hear about and share these success stories of our clients that your support makes possible! Become a believer. Join us in supporting Willie and other youth (ages 12-24) now by clicking here.


Extended Hours Offer Overnight Options to Youth

Today, the City of Sacramento, in partnership with Wind Youth Services, announced the expansion of Wind Youth Services’ operational hours to accommodate overnight options for unhoused youth.

“Our transitional age youth are some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “It breaks my heart to hear what these young people deal with on a daily basis. I’m thankful to our community partners and city staff for ensuring the good work Wind Youth Services is already doing can be extended to provide unhoused youth with a safe place to spend the night and access resources.”

This is the fifth shelter that has been opened in the last two months through coordinated City and County efforts to augment emergency shelter options for people suffering homelessness in Sacramento communities. The City and County, their leaders, and regional partners have been actively pursuing ways to prevent and end homelessness by committing significant resources in a variety of investments.

Through this new partnership, Wind Youth Services was able to extend its hours of operation to provide overnight accommodation for youth they are already serving with daytime resources beginning at the end of last week.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the City to offer a place where our community’s unhoused youth can find shelter on these cold and rainy nights,” says Suzi Dotson, Executive Director of Wind Youth Services. “We’ve been wanting to offer this to our youth for a long time, since they can’t always stay in the adult warming centers, so it’s great to see it finally happening!”

Labor groups in the region stepped in to provide $10,000 to help cover the additional costs of keeping the center open overnight.

“When we first heard about the City of Sacramento’s push to expand the shelter program we felt it was an obligation for us to step in and put our money where our mouth is,” said Fran McDermott, Executive Director for the National Electric Contractors Association, Greater Sacramento Chapter. “We wanted to show our commitment to the City after such a great partnership with them over the years and understand the need for good partners in the community to ensure our most vulnerable are being taking care of.”

Bob Ward, Business Manager for IBEW Local 340 added: “It was common sense for us and our brothers and sisters. We make our money building housing and want to find ways to ensure those that need housing the most can get out of the elements. It felt like our duty to step up and do anything we could to help these youths.”

Previously opened shelters include:

The City’s Weather Refuge Center at Southside Park (2107 6th Street) remains available from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. when temperatures are forecast below 40 degrees or during persistently rainy evenings. 211 Sacramento updates this page with nights it is open.

The winter refuge center located at 904 11th Street is still currently operating every night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and is staffed by Volunteers of America. The City provides a heated indoor space with blankets, water and snacks.

Stanford Settlement was opened to provide spaces for up to 25 people during cold and wet weather for the balance of the winter through a coordinated effort launched by Sacramento County, Sacramento City, the Association of Realtors, and the United Public Employees (UPE).

Volunteers of America provides staffing, transportation and food, with the County providing water, blankets and security.

El Hogar was similarly opened to provide spaces for up to 46 people during cold and wet weather. It is operated by the Salvation Army.

The City has a page on its website with a link of all emergency services.

Newly Housed Teens Need Furniture!

We have several youth moving into new apartments (yay!) who need apartment furnishings. If you have any new or gently used items you could donate, they can be dropped off atCountry Club Apartments at 2926 Watt Ave, #34. Contact Eden at 916-307-1450 for more info. Here is a complete list of what we need most, with asterisks by our most needed:

Mattresses, box springs and frames*
Kitchen table and chairs

Pots and pans
Cooking utensils (spoons, spatulas, knives)
Dishware (plates, bowls and cups)
Garbage can

All-purpose cleaner
Garbage bags

Washcloth/hand towel

Shower curtain