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Our Programs


StandUp For Kids runs several innovative programs that provide homeless youth the assistance, training and resources to make a successful re-integration into society. These programs include:

Street Outreach

STANDUP FOR KIDS Street Outreach Team literally goes to the streets and locates homeless, street kids and at-risk youth. Through extensive training, the street team can identify these kids from the general population because they often blend into the crowd for their own safety.

Street outreach encompasses:

  • Befriending homeless youth and letting them know that there are caring adults who are concerned about their well-being and want to see them safe and successful

  • Providing vital information regarding available resources to meet their needs, including housing, education, employment, medical, mental health and other support services

  • Providing food, clothing, hygiene products, blankets, and other comfort items

  • Harm reduction counseling to address the risks associated with street life

  • Providing social events: movies, picnics, daylong activities birthday parties, etc. to help kids build foundation away from the street

  • Providing youth with a physical mailing address so that they can receive mail
  • Outreach/Drop In Centers

    The intent/purpose of a STANDUP FOR KIDS Outreach/Drop In Center is to provide a safe and protective environment for homeless and at-risk youth. The Outreach Center provides a safe environment for kids to relax and escape the dangers of the streets. Some of the kids will often spend most of their time sleeping because they are safe from harassment, theft and physical or sexual harm.

    STANDUP FOR KIDS operates Outreach/Drop In Centers in the following locations, Youth can "drop-in" on designated evenings to receive a hot meal, take a shower, wash clothes, and use the computers to work on resume or homework, and to speak with outreach counselors or nurse in a safe, caring environment.

    Chicago, IL
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Oceanside, CA
    Orange County, CA
    San Diego, CA
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Worcester, MA

    Services provided, but not limited to, are:

    Meals and snacks
    Telephone messages and mail services
    Identification services (birth certificates, social security cards, etc.)
    Nursing, laundry, showers, etc.
    Education services, counseling on-site and job prep.
    Computer lab, GED prep, mentoring, TV/Play room, phone calls, mail service
    Referral services for available programs throughout the community
    A place to make meaningful relationships with caring adults
    Job referral and apartment finding services

    Mentoring Programs

    Because of the diversity of the communities we serve throughout the country, we conduct mentoring in school, after school, and in our outreach centers.

    In School & After-School Mentoring

    The goal of the mentoring program is to deter teen pregnancy, gang involvement, and increase high school graduation rates and foster a love for learning. The current programs accomplish this by pairing students with volunteer mentors who meet on a weekly basis during the school year. Mentors provide stability, friendship, and support by developing an effective study plan, providing tutoring, and discussing challenges experienced due to their unstable housing conditions. To support this facet of their lives, we provide access to computers, homework help, and life and career counseling weekly. The purpose of SUFK's Mentoring Program, is to encourage, mentor, support, and reward our youth in their pursuit of educational excellence. We want these junior- and senior-high teens to understand that we truly believe in them, and that they are capable and will be rewarded for their hard work and diligence in education. All youth who wish to participate must sign a contract and commit to participation in the weekly program for the duration of the school year. Throughout their participation, we utilize our existing resource partnerships to connect youth with the comprehensive services available.

    Small Group & Center Mentoring

    Many SUFK Chapters utilize the In-Center (or small group) mentoring model. In these locations we provide homeless and at-risk young adults ages 18 to 24 with resources and support needed to overcome challenging situations. Since each youth has a different reason for being on the streets, SUFK works individually to meet each one’s specific needs. Our programs not only provide basic necessities such as food, clothing, and toiletries, but also engages mentors to assist with educational support, resume and interview preparation, obtaining birth certificates and developing life skills. Mentors set goals, assign homework, and obtain referrals to other professionals who are needed to assist with each youth’s specific needs. One of the most important aspects of our program is that goals are set with each youth, with mentors utilized to hold them accountable to achieve each goal. Our centers provide a safe place for homeless youth to seek companionship in a safe place and openly discuss their problems and achievements.

    Apartment Support

    Once we’re successful in helping kids get off the streets, the real test begins. If it takes nine months to get a long-term homeless kid off the streets, it may take twice that long working with them in an apartment environment before they feel fully capable and comfortable with taking care of themselves. Apartment support teams will monitor the apartment situation and help young renters build a life centered around their community.

    Apartment support includes, but is not limited to, helping with the following:

    • Assistance in locating apartments (and taking care of the apartment)
    • Life skills training, including the fundamentals of living alone and supporting one’s self
    • Support in developing a follow-up plan after being placed in an independent living situation
    • Providing a weekly food basket
    • Assistance with providing clothes
    • Support in furnishing apartments
    • Assistance with providing counseling and moral support
    • Referrals for medical and dental support
    • Housing stipends