Struggling Youth Need and Receive a Helping Hand
70% of youth who visit the Eddy House report they feel safer on the streets than they did at home and 58% of youth have exchanged sex or labor for food, shelter, or clothing. Before the Eddy House opened, we had little knowledge on the perils homeless youth in our community face. These kids are our kids, they live here, and they need help to become independent. For the Community Foundation’s first initiative, our Board chose to focus on homeless youth. The Youth Network Initiative public work began in October of 2013, and we moved fast. More than 90 youth participated in the process. One of the top two things youth said they needed would be to have a place to go downtown. The Eddy House listened to our struggling youth and bravely committed to opening a center. Many other local organizations agreed to offer services within the building and the Eddy House was launched in March 2015.
The Eddy House now welcomes 60 youth daily who come in off the streets and served over 500 different youth in 2016. Thanks to the Eddy House’s exemplary work collecting data, all of us are learning more about these young people. Young people struggling to survive on the farthest margins of our community receive not just compassion, which itself is critical, but also showers, clothing, food, connections to medical, dental and education, addiction counseling, mental health services, anger management, music, and grief and loss therapy.
Outcomes are critical for the Eddy House. One of the first things you see when you walk through the front door is a jobs board celebrating the many youths who are now gainfully employed and on their way to becoming established in safe homes. Youth are helped to help themselves. However, there is still a tremendous need. These startling statistics collected by the Eddy House illustrate the difficulties facing the youth who walk through their door:
93% of the young people helped at the Eddy House have lost a parent, primary caregiver, or close friend.
39% have been through our foster care systems
67% are from Washoe County; 6% are from rural Nevada
59% have been treated for mental health disorders
70% of the youth had an IEP or Special Education plan while in school
70% report that they feel safer on the streets than they did at home
58% of the youth have exchanged sex or labor for food, shelter or clothing
The Eddy House has a proven track-record and the evidence to show they help struggling youth. They are now working towards creating a 24-hour support center. I recognize the unique and critical care provided through the Eddy House. Please join me in supporting their work. When an organization steps up to meet a need that is important, when nobody else is stepping up, and they learn as much and progress as far as Eddy House has in two years, they show the entrepreneurial approach that we value in America. Great job Eddy House! You can reach them by calling 775-686-6244 or by emailing Michele Gehr at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, we connect people, like you, who care, with causes that matter. Chris Askin, President, and CEO. 775-762-1932