IHYC brings a sense of home, structure, into the lives of homeless youth.
In 2011, Iowa reported 19,526 homeless in Iowa. Your support to Reggie’s Sleepout helps IHYC directly assist the most vulnerable youth in Iowa to become independent and self-sufficient.
Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) touched the lives of close to 400 homeless youth in the Des Moines metro in 2012. Through life-changing programs that build confidence and self-sufficiency skills, IHYC helps homeless youth and families get back on track for living independently. Each day, free-of-charge, youth in need can count on IHYC.
STREET OUTREACH CENTER
Served over 200 youth served in 2014.
+ Street Outreach Vans go out every night to locate teens, provide immediate assistance, including shelter, and help them access resources they need. An Outreach phone is answered 24 hours a day (515-249-1443).
+ Outreach Center provides meals, access and referral services to other agencies, support groups, showers, laundry, and one-on-one assistance.
+ Meals and Support Services offered Thursday nights for youth ages 16-21 only. Connection Café and Community Kitchen at the Outreach Center at 701 Grand provide noon meals and evening meals for all age groups. Transportation to and from meals is provided when needed.
57 youth lived in the IHYC Transitional Living Program in 2012
BUCHANAN TRANSITIONAL LIVING CENTER
+ Buchanan Transitional Living Center where young men and women ages 16 through 21 begin to learn and practice skills necessary to maintain independent living on their own. The program is free, and the youth must save 60% of all earnings.
LIGHTHOUSE HOST HOME
+ Lighthouse Host Home where young women ages 16 to 25 can live with their children while they learn, practice parenting and develop independent living skills. The program is free, participates must save 60% of their earnings for future needs.
AFTERCARE NETWORK SERVICES
85 young men and women served in 2012
+ Aftercare Services are offered to youth who have aged out of the Foster Care System. Case
management is provided while youth work on education, employment, life skills housing and personal goals.
+ Education Services and Support are offered to young people who need help in finishing school, getting a GED, getting started in college or post-high school training.
+ Employment Services and Support are offered to young people who need assistance in learning how to job hunt, prepare for job interviews, and how to retain employment.
HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS FACTS
+ There are more homeless people right now than ever before. More than 1.5 million of the homeless are youth.
+ 19,526 Iowans were homeless in 2012.
+ In the last two years, Iowa Homeless Youth Centers has worked directly with over 800 youth that are homeless or are at high risk of becoming homeless in the near future.
WHAT ARE THE DAILY CHALLENGES FOR HOMELESS YOUTH?
It is difficult to even think about tomorrow when:
+ You have no place safe to sleep at night
+ You don’t know when/from where your next meal comes
+ You’re hungry and have no energy
+ You’re dirty and have no clean clothes
+ You’re sick and have no doctor
+ You’re pregnant or parenting with no support/child care
+ You have no transportation
WHAT ARE LONG-TERM CHALLENGES FOR HOMELESS YOUTH?
Once the daily challenges for youth are alleviated, work begins on difficult long-term challenges. We have great respect for youth working to overcome serious challenges, including:
+ Mental, Physical and Sexual Abuse
+ Long Term Foster Care or Juvenile Justice
+ Mental Illness
+ Behavioral Issues
+ Developmental Delay
+ School Failure
+ Substance Abuse
+ Health Problems
+ Legal Issues
+ Few Sources of Positive Support and Guidance
+ Young Parent or Pregnancy
+ Social Stigma
FROM A GROWING COMMUNITY, IOWA’S HOMELESS YOUTH
Danny Heggen, a local writer and musician, has worked with some of IHYC’s participants to tell their stories and raise awareness about youth homelessness in Iowa. A portion of the proceeds from the book benefits IHYC’s programming and we can’t thank Danny enough for his support of IHYC and for providing us with this moving, beautiful project. Learn more & purchase one for yourself!
Please visit our website at www.iowahomelessyouth.org to learn more about our programs!
REGGIE’S PLACE, A CHILDREN’S BOOK
Colleen Conrad has written a children’s book based on her experiences as a volunteer with Iowa Homeless Youth Centers. Right in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa, sits Reggie’s Place, a street outreach center for homeless youth. Reggie Kelsey was an 18 year-old-boy who aged out of foster care, and died just a few months later. Told from the perspective of a young girl who talks about her mom volunteering at Reggie’s Place, you will learn about the homeless youth population; the challenges that led them to the streets; and the hope they’re given to help them get off the streets and on their own two feet. Orders for this book can be directed to Iowa Homeless Youth Centers. 1219 Buchanan St. Des Moines, IA 50316 or visit the website http://reggiesplacekidsbook.com/