Feburary 1, 2017
At the January meeting of the Santa Fe Interfaith Leadership Alliance a relatively new social welfare organization known as YouthWorks approached the ILA with a request to house their clients for one week apiece during this deadly time of winter. YouthWorks provides education, GED training, counseling, and job training for youth 18-25 who have aged out of youth shelters. This organization’s sponsors include the City of Santa Fe, four banks, Presbyterian Medical Services, SF Public Schools, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, SF Community Colleges and numerous foundations. Business partners include the SF Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, SF Business Alliance, and the US Dept. of Labor. You can find a complete list of sponsors here.
In December, YouthWorks got an anonymous matching grant for $50K to fund a permanent overnight space for their clients. This grant was quickly matched and YouthWorks began working with the City of Santa Fe to find a suitable permanent site. To get their clients out of the freezing weather, YouthWorks approached the ILA to provide temporary overnight housing. Each of the five ILA churches present at the January meeting agreed to provide one week housing. All other ILA ministers are approaching their boards. Rev. Gail volunteered our church building for Jan 30th thru Feb 5th.
YouthWorks gathers their clients at their site and drives them in vans to the nightly sleeping location. YouthWorks has two paid employees who remain onsite to monitors their clients for the 8 PM until 8 AM overnight period. The host congregations provide two spaces for the clients – one for women and one for men. YouthWorks has insurance for their clients and the host’s building. Hosts are not responsible for showers, food, or other support services. UU Santa Fe has chosen to provide breakfast for our guests.
Our participation with Pete’s Place started the same way – providing an out of the weather place to save lives. It developed into a complete program with a building, an evening meal, breakfast, and support services. Looking at YouthWork’s it looks like this group is starting down that same path for another underserved client set. Your Board of Trustee’s approved this program at our January meeting. These young adults are trying to get their lives together to improve themselves and our community. Your Board, Rev. Gail and I appreciate your support for this project.
President UU Santa Fe Board of Trustees