Generation Now

 

Staff

Lisa Brooks, Street Outreach Coordinator
Kaitlyn Cooper, Supportive Services Coordinator
Robin Johnson, Case Manager
Daniela Moore, Case Manager

Jennifer Sparks, Case Manager

Generation Now offers a comprehensive set of runaway and homeless youth programs to young people living in several of the poorest counties in Applachian Ohio. Funded through grants from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Generation Now seeks to break the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness, offering young people secure housing, services and support to help them on their way to productive lives.


Homelessness in Appalachian Ohio

The National Coalition for the Homeless notes that rural homelessness looks different than homelessness in an urban area. In rural areas homeless youth live in cars, campers, barns, or double up with family and friends. Many homeless young people are at an increased risk of sexual abuse, exploitation, or involvement in criminal activity. 

 These “hidden homeless” are often high school dropouts, who don’t have jobs or steady incomes. The lack of a job, an education, and a support system creates a volatile situation, and many young men and women make unwise decisions in order to simply put a roof over their heads.

Job training and educational opportunities can give them a chance to break out of poverty, but lack of secure housing keeps them from realizing that goal. The services of Generation Now can provide a safe and stable bridge to young people achieving their goals. 


Safe Place

Safe Place is a national youth outreach program that educates thousands of young people every year about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult, threatening situations on their own. This easily replicated community initiative involves the whole community to provide safe havens and resources for youth in crisis. Safe Place creates a network of “Safe Place locations” – youth friendly businesses, schools, fire stations, libraries, YMCAs and other appropriate public buildings that display the distinctive yellow and black Safe Place sign.  These Safe Place sites extend the doors of the youth emergency shelter or youth service agency throughout the community. Youth are easily able to access immediate help wherever they are. Sojourners manages over 60 Safe Place sites in seven counties in southeast Ohio.


Street Outreach Program

The Street Outreach Program provides services directly or by collaborating with other agencies. In particular, Sojo Street Reach works closely with other orga­nizations that work to protect and treat young people who have been or are at risk of homelessness, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse or exploi­tation. Street outreach services include the following:


Transitional Living Program

The Transitional Living Program offers services that are designed to help young people who are homeless make a successful transition to self-sufficient living. Transitional Living services include the following:

 

Basic Center Program

This program, which spans Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson,Meigs, Ross, and Vinton counties, works to establish or strengthen community-based programs that meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth and their families. The program provides youth up to age 18 with emergency shelter, food, clothing, counseling and referrals for health care.  Basic Center services include Basic Center services include:

 

Permanent Supportive Housing Program

The Community Supportive Housing program provides community-based housing for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years of age, who have mental health diagnoses and are homeless. Permanent Supportive Housing links these young people to housing and services designed to help them stay stable in their communities. These services include:

 

Victim Assistance Program

The Victim Assistance Program provides short term counseling to youth victims of crime immediately upon their referral to Sojourners, and long-term counseling when appropriate. The program informs clients about their right to victim compensation and assists them in filing as needed. In collaboration with the Generation Now programs, the Victim Assistance Program offers linkages and referrals, along with engagement activities, to help the young person in his or her healing and development.