July 2020
In this edition of the After8 Update: Local business brightens up the residential center, get involved with outdoor beautification efforts, and hear from formerly homeless students about their experiences and perspectives in light of the Coronavirus.
Donor Spotlight: Paul Pace and Pace GFX
The walls, doors, windows and stairs of the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center's residential services wing are much brighter and more colorful thanks to Paul Pace of Pace GFX. From door and window decals to printed canvas art pieces and massive murals throughout the building, the space has really come alive with these colorful additions.
Youth Homelessness & Creative Expression
In addition to numerous mental and emotional benefits , creative expression provides youth an opportunity to share their experiences, whether by doodling on a paper or creating a spoken word poem. At After8toEducate, we recognize the whole person, and offer youth experiencing homelessness multiple outlets for self-expression.
Support Garden Enhancement Efforts
Maintain social distancing while supporting our garden, which offers opportunities to learn and will serve as a therapeutic outlet for youth in crisis. Contribute $10 to sponsor a tile, or with a $30 donation you can make your mark with a DIY kit. Proceeds will be used for garden enhancements and the tiles will be installed at the center this fall. Learn more.
Volunteer Opportunities
Help out in the garden or with other outdoor beautification projects at the Fannie C. Harris Youth Center. In accordance with CDC recommendations and to ensure safe social distancing, limited spots are available per volunteer workday. Current volunteer opportunities are available to individuals ages 16 and older. Sign up to volunteer today!
Save the Date! North Texas Giving Day
#NTxGivingDay is an opportunity to show the world that in these unprecedented times North Texans can and will take care of each other. Be an ambassador for After8 by creating your own FUNdraising page, where you can share your giving story and invite others to give. Contact us to set up your FUNdraising page today: [email protected].
Formerly Homeless Students Share Perspectives in Light of the Pandemic
After experiencing homelessness as a teenager, Han still struggles with housing insecurity. She reflected on how the Coronavirus affected her as a college student, quickly working to find a place to stay when she was notified with three days notice that the dorms would be closing, and thought about what it would have been like had she still been in high school when the pandemic hit. "If I'd been stuck at home during quarantine with my mom, I don't know if I would have survived. School was always my safe space," she said.

Another student described her experience of staying in hotels, and even a storage unit, with her mother and sisters. Christine recalled spending all day at school or the library, which offered safe spaces to study, change, and relax. Since she and her family were technically sheltered, they did not qualify for many programs under the federal definition of homelessness. The narrow definitions of homelessness that many programs use limit the ability for many young people to access the help they need, Christine explained.

Read more, including additional stories from formerly homeless youth and policy recommendations.
After8toEducate ("After8") is a first-of-its-kind, collaborative effort to support unsheltered youth enrolled in Dallas Independent School District high schools and provide immediate support services for homeless young adults ages 14-21. Powered through Social Venture Partners Dallas, After8 harnesses the strengths of Dallas ISD and nonprofit agencies Promise House and CitySquare.