Wind Youth Services has secured a new location at 815 S Street in Midtown, Sacramento! Construction has begun to renovate it for use (you can see Executive Director, Suzi Dotson, swinging the first hammer).
The staff has already taken up residence on the top floor, and the bottom floor should be ready for use by early summer. An effort is now underway to raise the funds necessary to make this ideal building and location Wind’s permanent home.
As announced earlier, a $1 million gift was pledged by Golden 1 Credit Union, and several leadership gifts have also been secured from Wind Board Members, SMUD, The Donant Foundation, and others.
The new Wind Center will offer an innovative approach to end youth homelessness in Sacramento by co-locating housing, employment, health, education and other essential services designed specifically for youth.
Wind currently operates the only resource-intensive center dedicated to young people. Despite serving over 1,000 youth annually, the number of homeless youth continues to rise. Operating out of a 3,000 sq. ft. converted adult shelter, the current Wind Center is unable to provide the comprehensive services these young people so desperately need. Recent partnerships have provided an opportunity to convert the current Center to a youth-specific emergency shelter, adding 20 additional beds to Wind’s shelter capacity, while allowing the Center to be relocated to a new 14,000 sq. ft. centrally located facility.
This new facility will serve as THE front-door for all youth in crisis. The Center will continue to provide a structured, age-appropriate, safe place away from the street. Youth will also be provided a locker to secure their belongings, access to a kitchen, computer, shower and laundry facilities.
Mindful that many homeless youth are reluctant to seek help for fear of losing the only family they know, the Center will also provide kennel accommodations and pet food.
Once at the Center, counselors and staff members focus on the specific needs of each and every young person by assessing their health concerns, reviewing safe housing options, exploring education and job opportunities and ensuring they receive timely crisis management counseling.
Early intervention and diversion will continue to be a foundational service, preventing youth from ever becoming homeless through family counseling and reunification whenever possible.
Together, Wind, along with several partner agencies will use evidence-based approaches to provide immediate access to safety services, mental health counseling, career and education services, and connection to permanent housing resources depending on the individual needs.