In 2019, The Friendship Club developed and implemented a three-year pilot program for transition-age youth experiencing homelessness. This program, called SAFE (Stability, Access, Foundation, Empowerment), provides academic, social and emotional support and life skills training to program participants as they transition into adulthood. It provides this to youth through a safe place to meet with peers who face similar challenges and by offering individualized support by professional staff and well-trained adults and mentors, who connect them to community resources. This program is open to youth of all gender identities.
McKinney-Vento Act eligible high school juniors are referred by their schools and start participating in SAFE at the end of their junior year for ongoing intensive individualized support and case management, group meetings, and fun and educational field trips.
The SAFE program builds on The Friendship Club’s successful program and history and focuses on:
- Stability: Peer & adult support ~ Ongoing counseling & coaching ~ Compassionate environment
- Access: Community services & resources ~ Wellness – mental health, medical and dental care ~ Basic needs support and referrals
- Foundation: Life skills ~ Goal-setting ~ Nurturing relationships
- Empowerment: Career path choices through college or Career Technical Education ~ Resiliency & self-sufficiency ~ Self-advocacy
The curriculum includes a variety of activities and settings, from group and individual meetings and seminars at The Friendship Club to field trips in and out of our community. The program serves youth from the end of their junior year of high school through the completion of a college degree or Career Technical Education certificate. It incorporates The Friendship Club’s overall core values and Program Impact Areas to stay in line with the overall vision of our organization.
Homelessness and poverty have been an increasing issue in recent years, especially for teenagers and young adults. The SAFE program opens the door to endless opportunities and help break the cycle of poverty. Students get an education, learn independence and develop new skills that put them on the path to success. If you are an educator, community member or youth experiencing homelessness, please complete our confidential and secure online referral form in order to be considered for this program.
For more information, please contact our Youth Empowerment Coordinator, Aurora Packard, at (530) 265-4311 x208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.