Thursday, February 25, 2010

Come Draw with Us in Two Days!

Just a reminder that our volunteers will be at the Downtown Common on Saturday, February 27th from 11:00AM to 12:00PM spreading awareness about youth homelessness and the SUFK organization.

Stop by and draw with us (with chalk of course!).

Thanks as always to those near and far for all your wonderful support!

What's Happening in Worcester
The Worcester program is currently working on a few great projects. We are planning a Backpack Outreach Program to help kids at our local schools. We are also working with a student at Abby Kelley Foster High School to start a School Club. The School Club kicks off tomorrow evening with plans to help our program with food drives and awareness events. More importantly, they will be the first high school in Worcester to engage in SUFK's preventative program - Don't Run Away. They will present the DRA presentation to middle school students in the Worcester community.

We've also got more plans in the works so keep reading our blog for the latest updates! :-)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Come Draw with Us

2nd Chalk on the Streets Event: Come Spread Awareness About Youth Homelessness
The StandUp For Kids volunteers will be outside on Saturday, February 27th from 11:00AM to 12:00PM. Stop by the Downtown Common to draw on the sidewalks (with chalk, of course!). You can chat with our volunteers about the program and also learn about youth homelessness. Plus, when you draw youth homeless statistics on the sidewalk, you'll be helping spread awareness to the Worcester Community!

Feel free to contact us with any questions at or 774-242-4289.

Food Drive Request
We're in need of food bags. If you would like to host a food bag drive for our program, please contact us at for more information.

January Outreach Numbers
Our outreach counselors were busy in January:
  • 7 Regular Kids Assisted
  • 26 New Kids Assisted
Great job, guys! Keep up the good work and stay warm!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Worcester Focuses on Youth Homelessness

As we reported last week, the Worcester Youth Housing Task Force released survey results from an August 26, 2009 survey conducted by several services within the Worcester community. The numbers have definitely sparked some interest, including an article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette - "Homeless youths emerge from shadows in the city -- Worcester confronts needs for programs."

Our program is one of the only (if not the only) program that street outreaches to youth under the age of 18 in Worcester. Our goal is to make them aware of all the services out there for them so that they don't have to end up sleeping in their car, a park, or even couch surf. As Rick Koca, Founder of StandUp For Kids, has said, these kids are not only homeless, they feel hopeless. They need to know that (1) someone out there cares about them, (2) they can have a life beyond the streets.

We were very fortunate this week as we had six perspective volunteers show up at our Tuesday Information Sessions. We also had quite a few people stop at the door and peer in as we talked about youth homelessness and our organization's mission.

Remember that August 26th was only one day in one year. The number of homeless kids in Worcester may have risen or dropped since then. These kids needs the help of their community. If only one kid is homeless out there today, we need to find and assist that one kid. No matter how high or low the number, every kid matters.

Contact us at on ways you can help. We all lead busy lives so if you can't make the commitment to volunteer, you can always help us spread the word. Your voice could make the difference.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Survey of Homeless Youth 2009 Results

The Numbers Don't Lie: Youth Homeless in Worcester
On Thursday, January 28th, the Worcester Teen Housing Taskforce released the results of a youth homelessness survey conducted on August 26, 2009.

Ally Trull (Director of Outreach) and Mohsin Syed (Outreach Counselor) attended the press release.

Of the 513 kids surveyed on August 26th, 142 of these kids identified themselves as homeless. 63% (91 kids) identified as living in a shelter. 37% said they were either couch surfing, permanently living with friends if under 18, living in a car, park, or street.

Imagine living on the streets in the weather conditions of this past week? The snow. The wind. The below freezing temperatures. Hard to imagine for us, too. That's why we're out there every week no matter what the weather conditions. If we can find and assist just one of these kids through our street outreach, then we have accomplished something great.

If Worcester has 142 homeless youth, just think of how many kids could be homeless in your community? If you are not in the Worcester area, you can start a SUFK program in your neighborhood. Check out the StandUp For Kids website for more information (

These kids aren't living on the streets. They're dying on the streets.

Reminder: Our Volunteer Information Session is Next Week!

Join us on February 9th to learn about our program and how you can help.

We're having two info sessions that night. Attend either the 6:30 or 7:30 info session in the Banx Room of the Worcester Public Library.