You are the difference between a teen living on the streets, desperate and alone, or living in safe shelter until they can return home.
According to the Ventura County Office of Education last year, 5,291 k-12 students were temporarily doubled up or at-risk of homelessness. 538, or 10% of them met the federal definition of homelessness. These numbers only scratch the surface of problems occurring in households that are precursors to youth ending up sleeping on the street, in cars or couch surfing. How can you help? Don’t let serious challenges faced by local youth be ignored. Make sure parents, schools and law enforcement have Interface to turn to for a solution.
Everyday, families struggle to stay safe, stay sane, and stay together.
Sometimes it’s a family living with the looming threat of homelessness because they can’t afford rising rent. Other times it’s a teenager acting out so recklessly that parents are past their ability to cope. It may be self-harming, or suicide attempts. It may be child abuse in the home. Or domestic violence.
In each of these cases, Interface works to improve family dynamics, at every step in the family life cycle. Our programs are designed to give families – and each member of a family – a second chance.
Interface’s new Runaway Homeless Youth Shelter is the latest way we are doing this work. The teens in our home get the shelter, counseling, and support they need. What the teens also get is an opportunity to return home. Because at Interface, we seek to improve family dynamics whenever possible while teens are sheltered with us.
When Interface’s Youth Shelter opens this month, it will be Ventura County’s only dedicated shelter for homeless and runaway adolescents. Teens who usually slip through the cracks and wind up on the streets, living in cars, or in unsafe environments now have somewhere to go.
Ultimately, our hope for them is to go back home. We believe in the power of second chances. With support, with counseling, with skill building, we believe all types of families can succeed.
But they cannot do it alone. And, frankly, neither can we.
We need your support so we can support families in crisis. That includes the teens coming to our shelter. It also includes their parents, aunts, brothers, uncles, sisters, cousins, or even neighbors, who also need our support. Click here to help.
We want every child to return to the safety and warmth of a stable home – one that’s better, together.