YMCA Programs and Services Serve Youth Experiencing Homelessness
San Diego, CA (November, 2021) – November is National Runaway and Homeless Youth Prevention Month, an annual awareness and prevention campaign for runaway and homeless youth issues. YMCA of San Diego County is engaging in a month-long campaign to raise awareness around this serious social issue. The Y’s Rooted in Community campaign is intended to create space for our communities to understand more about what is possible when we invest in young people experiencing homelessness, and when they feel seen, heard, and supported.
As part of the Y’s Rooted in Community campaign, three members of the YMCA team will be traveling from Oceanside to San Ysidro on a SOLIDARITY JOURNEY to raise awareness for youth homelessness in our community. The journey will take place over three days (November 8-10) and will include four media-friendly community events attended by various elected officials and leaders throughout the county.
Youth homelessness is a community issue that requires a community solution. YMCA of San Diego County is inviting the entire community to join the Solidarity Journey by attending these community events to learn about the challenges unsheltered youth and families face and ways they can be a part of the solutions.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8 | OCEANSIDE
Join the YMCA team, community leaders, social service providers, and community members for breakfast during an exciting kickoff event to send off the YMCA team on their first leg of the Solidarity Journey.
Where: YMCA YFS Oceanside Complex | 215 Barnes Street, Oceanside, CA 92054
When: 7:00 a.m.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9 | OCEAN BEACH
Join the YMCA team, community leaders, social service providers, and community members in Ocean Beach to hear from community leaders and advocates about the challenges unsheltered youth face, specifically LGBTQ+ youth who are disproportionately impacted by homelessness.
Where: Ocean Beach Pier | 1850 Ocean Front Street, San Diego, CA 92107
When: 2:00 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 | SAN DIEGO
Join the YMCA team, community leaders, social service providers, and community members in front of the San Diego County Administration Building to hear Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announce the County’s Proclamation to recognize November as Runaway and Homeless Youth Prevention Month.
Where: San Diego County Administration Building | 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101
When: 10:00 a.m.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10 | CHULA VISTA
Join the YMCA team, community leaders, social service providers, and community members for a discussion about how access to community infrastructure, including transportation, is critical for youth and families.
Where: E Street Trolley Stop | 750 E Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910
When: 1:00 p.m.
YMCA SOLIDARITY JOURNEY Team bios
Justin Lipford: Justin serves as the Director of Community Engagement for YMCA Community Support Services in San Diego. He is passionate about connecting disconnected and vulnerable young adults to the resources necessary to flourish.
David Baker: David serves as the Program Director for Housing Our Youth at the YMCA of San Diego County. Dedicated to making positive change in the world, he is passionate about direct service work and is gifted in connecting with people. David’s advocacy work focuses on matters of equity and access for young adults.
Josh Astorga: Josh serves as the Support Specialist for the Y’s Connections 2020 program. He is an artist and advocate for youth experiencing homelessness.
Homelessness is one of the biggest social issues facing the San Diego community. San Diego County’s population of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness is the 7th largest in the country. Often referred to as an “invisible” crisis, youth homelessness impacts one in ten young people (ages 18-24 years old) in a year, and 1 in 30 adolescents (ages 13-17 years old) experience homelessness without a caregiver. It’s also important to note that youth of color and LGBTQ+ youth are disproportionately impacted by homelessness.
YMCA of San Diego County is committed to bringing about meaningful and lasting change for youth and families experiencing homelessness. YMCA Youth & Family Services (YFS) has nearly a dozen programs that help youth facing housing instability. YFS has a team of dedicated staff throughout the county providing housing, essentials, safety, counseling, education and employment assistance, and more to young people between the ages of 12-24 every day. By ensuring everyone has a safe place to live, a reliable support system, encouragement to pursue their goals, and access to the resources they need to flourish, our staff, volunteers and donors continue to help bring about meaningful and lasting change for the youth and families of our community. Learn how.
Gifts of all sizes are welcome to help youth stabilize their basic needs and support efforts to develop the skills that will lead to sustained independence. Donate here.