Youth experiencing homeless, involved in the juvenile justice system, not enrolled in school or unemployed are among the most vulnerable populations in need of support as challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic persist.
With help from the San Diego Workforce Partnerships’ San Diego Opportunity Hope grant and the HEAP Southwestern College Rapid Rehousing Program funded by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, SBCS remains committed to assisting transitional age youth (ages 16-24) in accomplishing their educational and employment goals and reaching their full potential. Supportive services include help with transportation, housing, interview clothing, education materials, job uniforms, school/training fees, identification and daycare.
Here are the stories of two youth who SBCS recently supported:
Kendal is the youngest of four siblings whose mother suffers from mental illness and father is disabled. He said growing up with his father was difficult and they had very little resources. With support from SBCS’ rapid rehousing program for college-focused youth, Kendal is now living on his own and working toward a degree in constructional engineering at Southwestern College. He recently received transportation support as well.
“The blessing of receiving a bike from SBCS has been great,” Kendal said. “Having a bike has allowed me to stay active and cope during this pandemic. It has also been helpful in my job search. Finding a job has been difficult, but I won’t give up. I’m forever grateful.”
In early 2018 at the age of 19, James [they, them, theirs] came out to their parents and was kicked out of their home. They moved to San Diego and soon experienced homelessness. James participated in a transitional housing program and began to identify and overcome many barriers to their advancement. Despite such adversity, they were able to gain employment and enroll in a university program.
By May, they were referred to SBCS’ rental assistance program and moved into their own one-bedroom apartment. James has taken full advantage of their time in the program by working full-time, continuing to attend school, completing an internship and even saving enough money to buy a new car.
“Without the assistance from SBCS, I wouldn’t have been able to pay rent during this pandemic”, James said. “My hours were cut and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to afford my bills. This support has truly been the difference between cutting back on necessities and being able to afford all that I need right now.”
For more information about youth supportive services, please contact us at 619-420-3620.