A Message from Lutheran Social Services of Northern California
by Kathye Hamm
Our Youth, Our Future
LSS has provided supportive housing services to youth ages 18-24 for nearly 20 years. Many of these youth spent time in foster care or have already experienced homelessness. Increasingly, they are coming to LSS with less education and fewer of the basic living skills needed to live independently.
These young people we serve are part of our nation’s future, and they need our support. They need so much more than a few years of stable housing and encouragement to complete high school or a GED program.
That’s why LSS is reimagining our youth supportive housing programs to create a stronger foundation for their long-term success. Going forward, we are placing greater emphasis on educational attainment and supportive job training to help youth obtain living wage employment that can lead to lifetime self-sufficiency and a healthier, more fulfilling life. The redesign will include two social enterprises that will provide our youth with immediate, hands-on work experience and transferrable skills that can lead to that first paid job.
We will pilot the change in Sacramento and Stockton, but this new program design is relevant and scalable. It can be replicated in other communities we serve. We believe it may offer new opportunities for the older adults we serve, too. Foster care and chaotic childhoods are common experiences among homeless adults. Our main goal has always been to preserve their dignity, keep them in safe, stable housing and as healthy as their life experiences will permit. In the future, we hope to have new options to enrich their lives and help them age with dignity.
Visit our website (www.lssnorcal.org) to learn more as our Youth Education and Employment Initiative rolls out. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook @lssnortherncalifornia or Instagram with lssnorcal.
San Francisco 415-581-0891 / Concord 925-825-1060 / Sacramento 916-453-2900
Questions? Contact Stephanie Casenza, Director of Development 925.825.1060 x15 or Email our team at Development@lssnorcal.org
February 18, 2020
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