As we discussed at our last all-staff gathering, the Baltimore Office is expanding it programming to address homelessness and unstably housed youth ages 14 to 24.
For the past 18 months, we have been providing navigation services, case management, housing, and counseling to vulnerable youth. These young people are runaways, throwaways, couch surfers, and others who are escaping abuse and/or neglect.
In August, the renovation of the ground floor of the Baltimore was completed and furnished to serve as Springboard's Youth Resource Center (YRC). Once fully opened, the YRC Drop-In Center will offer a safe, centrally located, youth-centered atmosphere that is welcoming and provides access to vital services.
Not long after completing the renovations and moving into the space, we learned that the only existing Youth Drop-In Center in Baltimore, and one of our partners, would no longer be able to provide this critical component of the housing continuum for youth. This has made the opening of the Springboard Center even more critical.
As you may know, a youth drop-in center is a place where young people striving for the stability of a home can find a safe respite from the streets and obtain crucial connections to stabilizing services. Drop-In Centers are not shelters and do not provide overnight bed capacity.
On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, the Springboard YRC Drop-In Center will officially open. Staff will provide food assistance, clothing, laundry, showers, toiletries, computer and telephone access, employment assistance, health & wellness programs, as well as, assistance to obtain ID cards, transportation, and legal aid services either directly or by referrals to community providers.
"The vulnerability of these young people is of great concern and it is vital that Springboard steps forward to provide access to these young people," said F.T. Burden.
An interdisciplinary team will provide the services. They include but are not limited to the YRC coordinator, peer counselors, housing navigators, case managers, therapist, and workforce development specialist. "The Center will be a lifeline for young people in need, and we are honored to provide this service."