Posted on March 21, 2015
Seattle, WA, US
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Teen Feed works with the community to offer support to meet basic needs, build strong relationships, and ally with homeless youth as they meet their future off the streets. With the tremendous support of the community, Teen Feed responds to the most basic needs of homeless youth with three programs: Teen Feed, the Street Talk Outreach Program (STOP), and Service Links for Youth (SLY).
Teen Feed Offers Four Integrated Programs:
Teen Feed Meal Program serves a hot, nutritious meal at various University District meal sites (seven days a week), in Auburn (every Wednesday and Friday) and South Seattle's Rainier Beach (every Thursday). Over a healthy meal, young people connect with specially trained advocates and support coordination staff to access the resources and services they need.
Service Links for Youth (SLY) is a case management program—we call it "Support Coordination"—designed to help youth who are ready to begin the transition to life off the streets. SLY was developed in 1998 after Teen Feed became concerned that many homeless and street-involved youth were not comfortable accessing traditional, agency-based services. Unlike traditional "case management," SLY was designed as a youth-centered support program that affirms the strengths of each participant as they meet self-identified goals. Our Support Coordinator builds a relationship with each youth to learn what types of resources will help them best succeed. SLY is unique in its focus on meeting youth on the streets and in programs, and it serves a broader range of youth—ages 13 to 25—than most other programs.
Street Talk Outreach Program (STOP) is aimed at high-risk youth who avoid traditional social service agencies. STOP sends out teams of staff and peer outreach workers to meet youth in their own environment—the streets and alleys where they spend most of their time. In 2013, STOP made over 1,400 positive contacts with youth on the streets, offering socks, food, referrals to resources, and a relationship with a caring adult. Focusing on building a relationship with homeless youth in their environment breaks down the resistance many have to engaging and working with trusting adults. In addition to street outreach, STOP provides support coordination services (case management) for homeless youth ages 18-25 who may not be eligible for our SLY program.
In support of this work, the STOP Peer Youth Internship Program provides youth transitioning out of homelessness with employment experience while supporting their peers. Youth Interns work for 10 hours per week at a rate of $15.00 per hour for six months of service, assisting on outreach and supporting the Teen Feed meal program. This program enables interns to save funds for rent, providing valuable experience and employment reference while building connections with their peers.
Youth Access to Care provides outreach, enrollment, and navigation services for homeless, at-risk, and food insecure young people in need of healthcare. Through Washington State's Medicaid expansion, nearly all of Teen Feed's guests are newly eligible for both medical and dental insurance. Youth Access to Care works with young people to review their healthcare options, enroll in health insurance, and leverage new health benefits to obtain preventative care and address preexisting mental and physical health conditions. Teen Feed is a contracted In-Person Assister organization working in partnership with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange and Washington Healthplanfinder.
In 2013, Teen Feed:
- Opened its doors to 50 – 80 youth each night
- Offered over 18,500 nutritious meals to hungry youth
- Connected with over 790 individual youth in need
- Worked with over 800 volunteers from various community, corporate, and faith groups
- Leveraged over $300,000 in donated food, basic needs items and related in-kind contributions
- Provided one-on-one support coordination for 107 youth, providing a mailing address and help with a state identification, employment, healthcare enrollment, housing, and more.
- Met the basic needs of youth in need in Seattle's University District, Auburn and Rainier Beach areas