Wind Youth Services and Golden 1 Credit Union Announce
New Homeless Youth Counseling Center
SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 19, 2017 – Hundreds of youth and young adults in Sacramento face each night without a place to sleep. Some sleep outside, others couch-surf, some will resort to selling themselves in return for a place to spend the night. The needs of homeless youth differ from those of the homeless adult population. To break the cycle of homelessness, this vulnerable group needs early and intensive intervention not available from traditional adult services and shelters. To address the unique challenges of homeless youth, Wind Youth Services (Wind), in partnership with other homeless youth service providers, is opening a 24-hour youth counseling center that co-locates providers and offers multiple services in a one-stop location.
Golden 1 Credit Union (Golden 1) will contribute $1 million over the next three years to help make this possible. The project has the potential to make a substantive difference in the lives of youth, and aims to prevent youth homelessness in Sacramento, ensuring their well-being for years to come.
The youth counseling center, located at 8th and S Streets in downtown Sacramento, will focus on an early intervention and prevention model. Led by Wind, the center will also house programs offered by Lutheran Social Services, Goodwill, and Waking the Village. Together, the agencies will use an evidence-based approach to provide immediate access to safety services, mental health counseling, career and education services, and connection to permanent housing resources depending on individual needs.
“Golden 1’s commitment to giving back is a cornerstone of what it means to be a credit union. Helping people is inherent to our business philosophy and we are honored to partner with Wind,” said Donna Bland, President and CEO of Golden 1 Credit Union. “We carefully researched the issues surrounding youth homelessness in our region and chose to support this project because we know it has the potential to impact homeless youth and young adults in a material and meaningful way. We are proud to deepen our support of the communities we serve and the organizations that work to make them great.”
“Today is a great day for our community’s renewed commitment to end youth homelessness. Prevention and early intervention are the critical components our community needs to intervene in the lives of youth before it is too late,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “This exciting new partnership between Golden 1 Credit Union and Wind will significantly increase our city’s ability to provide shelter, reunification services, and job training to young people who might otherwise enter a cycle of chronic homelessness.”
The new youth counseling center will take a comprehensive and proactive approach to address the challenges faced by homeless young people ages 12 to 24. This strategy can reduce the number of youth who are homeless, and minimize trauma by reducing the length of time young people spend without a home.
“Many of the homeless services in Sacramento and throughout the country are designed for adults,” said Suzi Dotson, Executive Director of Wind Youth Services. “This center focuses on the special circumstances surrounding homeless youth. It gives us the tools and services we need to intervene early and prevent young people from becoming chronically homeless adults.”
Wind, Waking the Village, Goodwill, and Lutheran Social Services will each bring a different set of services to the center. Wind will direct overall operations and offer peer support services, outreach workers, and youth advocates who provide intensive case management. Waking the Village will run a curriculum using arts to promote healing, build community, and develop leadership skills. Goodwill will provide job training skills, and Lutheran Social Services will provide career counseling, situational assessments, and vocational planning and training.
“It’s encouraging to know that Wind Youth Services, Goodwill and other nonprofits have joined forces” said Supervisor Phil Serna. “These are widely respected community service providers, and their combination is clearly greater than just the sum of what they bring individually.”
“Every kid needs a home and support to succeed. We are grateful that Golden 1 and Wind have stepped up to help our most vulnerable kids get housing and services so they can be safe and healthy,” said Sacramento City Council member Steve Hansen.
The new center is expected to open by the end of 2017. To supplement the services offered by the main agencies, Wind is planning to add partners who can provide mental health services and an on-site medical clinic. Wind’s Youth Advisory Board will be involved to ensure that youth voices are included in program development.
ABOUT GOLDEN 1 CREDIT UNION
With more than $11 billion in assets, Golden 1 Credit Union is the leading credit union in California, and the sixth largest credit union in the United States. Golden 1 Credit Union delivers financial solutions with value, convenience, and exceptional service. As a dynamic and trusted leader, Golden 1 is committed to enhancing the financial well-being of its members and diverse communities. Golden 1 has more than 850,000 members and 1,600 employees. Visit www.golden1.com for more information.
ABOUT WIND YOUTH SERVICES
Wind Youth Services provides supportive services and opportunities to youth experiencing homelessness as they pursue self-determined lives of stability and independence. Wind Youth Services is the only service provider in Sacramento County focusing solely on runaway, homeless, and transition-age youth. One out of every 50 American children are homeless, and our community is no exception. Every day, Wind has a waiting list of more than 100 youth needing housing despite their two shelters being fully operational. Nearly 40% of these individuals are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth who have been rejected by their families.
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