Youth Empowered Society (YES)
The Youth Empowered Society (YES) is an organization that prevents and eliminates youth homelessness through the synergy of youth, peer and ally partnerships. The organization’s vision is that all of Baltimore’s youth will easily access supportive services and stable housing to become powerful in their own lives.
Through the YES Drop-In Center, YES provides urgently-needed direct services to youth experiencing homelessness through trauma-informed peer and ally support; develops the leadership and employment readiness of youth who have experienced homelessness; and partners with youth to advocate for systems change. Through these approaches, YES puts youth experiencing homeless on a pathway to stability by focusing on immediate needs, long-term stability, and systems transformation.
YES provides several services and conducts a number of programs to meet the needs of 200-250 vulnerable youth experiencing homelessness annually. YES facilitates access to resources and opportunities that most (housed) individuals take for granted by focusing on immediate needs as well as long-term stability. YES:
· Provides a safe, youth-friendly space for youth to gather, and to give and receive support.
· Works with youth to secure emergency shelter and/or temporary housing and meet basic needs.
· Provides in-house case management that assists clients in acquiring vital documents (e.g., birth certificates, social security cards, and photo identification cards), accessing public benefits, obtaining permanent housing, navigating the legal system, and meeting the variety of other needs.
· Works intensively with youth on workforce development though one-on-one assessments and goal setting; resume, mock interview and job search assistance; paid workforce development training at soft-skill and sector specific training sites; connection to employment; and retention activities.
· Offers high school/GED/college application assistance and tutoring.
· Facilitates onsite access to health care, mental health services, and legal services.
· Offers weekly support groups such as a parenting group, a writing/spoken word group, a Healthy Relationships group provided by Turn Around, Inc., and a psycho-educational trauma-recovery group S.E.L.F.
· Runs a Rapid Rehousing program that provides housing and intensive case management to 10 youth in FY17 and will provide housing to additional 10 youth in FY18.
Strong City Baltimore serves as the fiscal agent for YES. YES is supported by key staff at Strong City Baltimore who provide financial and administrative management, including accounting, invoicing, payroll, audit, insurance, and human resources to YES. Strong City Baltimore is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.