The core mission of StandUp For Kids is to end the cycle of youth homelessness throughout the United States. Everyday homeless youth face obstacles that most of us cannot comprehend. Where will I have my next meal? When can I shower? Where will I sleep tonight? StandUp For Kids helps homeless youth tackle some of their everyday obstacles and work towards a life off the streets. From basic necessities such as food, clothing, and hygiene to resources for housing, employment, and education, StandUp For Kids counselors use an open, straightforward and caring counseling approach to help kids reach their full potential.
StandUp For Kids helps homeless and at-risk youths age 21 and younger. There are currently an estimated 1.3 million homeless and street kids in America. Children makeup 27 percent - the fastest growing segment - of the U.S. homeless population.
StandUp For Kids also targets at-risk youth in elementary and junior high schools through the Don't Run Away Program. These youth are presented ways to remove themselves from an abusive situation and find other options to running away.
What services does StandUp For Kids offer?
StandUp For Kids supplies basic necessities such as food, clothing, and personal hygiene, in addition to a wide array of services, including assistance with housing, education, vocational development, counseling, health and medical services, transportation, and legal assistance. Laundry services, hot meals, mail and message services are also available in our programs that operate an Outreach Center. An Outreach Center is a safe place where homeless youth and street kids can relax for a few hours. Services vary by program but generally an Outreach Center offers laundry facilities, showers, counseling, computer/internet use, etc.
Volunteers are required to submit a Background Investigation and undergo the StandUp For Kids Training Program which consists of eight, two hour classes. The Training Program educates volunteers on the hardships that homeless and street kids endure every day. Many of our kids have run away from abusive situations, physical, mental, and sexual, and it is necessary to understand these situations in addition to the obstacles, problems, and mentality of street life.
The number of kids helped by a local program will fluctuate as well as the services provided. Services depend on the program structure and may include counseling, help with school work, employment, and housing. For example, if your local program has an Outreach Center, you may help a kid apply for jobs and locate transitional housing programs. Some programs offer both an Outreach Center and send counselors to the streets for Street Outreach. During Street Outreach you may counsel a kid and provide them with a food and hygiene pack. Apartment Support counselors may provide more life-skill services however all counselors can expect to be the first line of defense for crisis counseling, whether on the streets, Outreach Center, or kid's apartment.
StandUp For Kids is run almost entirely by volunteers and employs a small office staff in Atlanta, Georgia. The National Office staff manages the daily operations of StandUp For Kids such as bookkeeping, marketing materials, national funding and a variety of other tasks.
Volunteers fill a variety of positions, including Executive Director (or Co-Executive Directors) and leadership roles. Since 1990, StandUp For Kids volunteers have performed almost a million hours of community service, conducted more than 100,000 counseling sessions, and provided more than 1,000,000 meals to homeless and street kids and at-risk youth!
StandUp For Kids currently has over twenty (20) active programs in more than fifteen (15) states, including Washington, DC, throughout the USA.
StandUp For Kids has been recognized by the Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush Administrations, U.S. Justice Department, Colorado Secretary of State, and the Arizona Governor's Office for Children. StandUp For Kids has also received the JCPenney "Golden Rule Award," Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award and various corporate and community service awards.