What is the AHO Youth Connect?
The AHO Youth Connect is a one stop resource event that provides homeless and at-risk youth basic life-sustaining services like housing assistance, employment opportunities, medical and dental care, legal aide, financial guidance, peer counseling, library cards, youth stories, internet services, food, clothing, identity cards and haircuts. The Connect was conceived and produced by 25 previously homeless youth and their peers who met weekly for 9 months to plan this dynamic, interactive event. In a single day, the AHO Youth Connect offers services that would otherwise take over a year to acquire.
The AHO Youth Connect Model
- Each Connect is driven by the AHO Youth Task Force Team, made up of twenty-five youth, ages 16 to 25 who are homeless or at-risk and their peers who want to give back. (some are pictured above)
- Offers leadership opportunities for the young people to be involved in every aspect of planning, strategizing and bringing this event to life.
- Provides immediate and direct service to youth (ages 16 to 25) through one-on-one contact with a host volunteer who assists each youth from entry to exit to ensure they receive the services they came for.
- Engages over 300 local community members including businesses, individuals, faith communities, organizations to participate as sponsors and volunteers to generate $30,000 in-kind support.
- Initiates the self-recovery process by providing ongoing follow-up support and peer mentor services.
Services Received by Homeless and At-Risk Youth
- Housing Assistance – Follow-up workshops , credit clean-up, money management
- College of Marin – Enrollment, scholarships, tutoring, money for books, housing, moving
- Job Fair (5 businesses accepting applications)
- Employment – Job hires
- Medical – Check ups with follow-up appointments, STD testing
- Dental – Screenings with follow-up appointments, cleanings, root canals
- Cafe Food
- Identity Cards
- Peer counseling, mental health screenings, haircuts, library cards, Internet, youth stories
- FREE Bikes, locks, helmets and safety training
- FREE Backpacks with blankets, toiletries, AHO resource guide, Safeway card, AHO card