Starting Right, Now addresses the roots of poverty for unaccompanied homeless youth – youth unhoused, not living with a parent/guardian, and not in foster care.
SRN serves unaccompanied homeless youth registered in Hillsborough or Pinellas public high schools (referred by the school district and community partners). These students, aged 15-19, are not considered for foster care because they are not removed from their home by the Department of Children & Families but rather choose to leave for safety. By providing free, long-term housing, SRN fulfills physiological/safety needs (food, shelter, etc.) first, then engages our youth in wrap-around programming. This holistic and personalized care amends the inherited inequalities faced by unaccompanied homeless youths to prevent them from becoming chronically homeless adults. By meeting basic needs and facilitating access to care, SRN youth build a path to well-being and self-sufficiency. Society at large benefits by gaining adults who are meaningful contributors to the community.
Starting Right Now, ends homelessness for youth by providing a stable home, facilitating access to preventative medical and mental healthcare, promoting educational achievement, teaching workforce development, financial literacy, and life skills, and nurturing belonging through one-on-one mentorship.
A healthy, safe, and loving home for all youth.
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
SRN empowers unaccompanied homeless youth, breaking the cycle of generational homelessness and poverty. “Unaccompanied Homeless Youth” is a federal term defined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as, “Youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian…who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” SRN serves unaccompanied homeless youth (aged 15-19) registered in Hillsborough (HCPS) and Pinellas (PCS) county high schools (referred by the school district and community partners).
Unaccompanied homeless youth are not considered for foster care because they are not forcibly removed from their home by the Department of Children & Families but rather choose to leave for safety. Unaccompanied homeless youth commonly report issues related to blended families, substance abuse, pregnancy, sexual activity or orientation, gender-presentation, parental neglect and abuse, incarceration, illness, deportation, or death as the primary reason it is unsafe at home. Many students leave home when their family cannot financially accommodate them.
Together, we can make a difference.
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