Sep 8, 2016

Launching Two Events Fall 2016

We're launching two new events for all this month -- exciting stuff! We continue our efforts to provide clients with consistent and safe indoor opportunities.

With UT police recommending fewer homeless in the UT area, our clients are more at risk than ever of being asked to leave the area because they are young and homeless. So events intended to take place primarily indoors are really our only way to serve them.

This first event -- which we are calling "Hey, Neighbor!" --  I'm really excited about! After the catastrophic 2015 invasion of the K2 drug and the tragic near-campus murder earlier this year, the neighborhood needs lots of healing. A basic way to start that process is simply to clean up the area. And the SYM way is to encourage our clients to reach their goals by participating in it.

So -- at 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday, we'll send people out to take photos of West Campus areas that need cleaning up, and we'll post them on Facebook. Then we'll challenge clients to do the work. Those that do will get points redeemable for necessities like sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. As a project is completed, we'll send people out to take pictures and videotape each other's stories so they can explain to neighbors in the area what is being done. We'll post all this to Facebook, too.

Our goal is to get our clients interested in earning by working and improving neighborhood relations. Once we get things going, we might branch into gardening and art installation. We'll need volunteers to help set up and operate Hey Neighbor from 3:15 to 5:30 p.m.
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The second event is a relaunch of Job Club by client request. And this time there will be stronger participation benefits. Attenders get access to a Facebook group where we post job listings early. We'll ask community members to notify us of openings. And when clients get new jobs, we'll give them three discounted daily bus passes (at 10% regular cost) followed by additional passes as they stay employed until paychecks begin to roll in. We'll consider helping Job Club members with discounted job needs (shoes, pants, etc).
We'll have to fundraise to have a kitty for this. We'll ask donors to give 10 times whatever amounts clients supply. We'll also need volunteers to help us set up, teach, role-play and clean up each week from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Our goal is getting clients to open up their imaginations in terms of career vocations and to retain the entry-level jobs they get.

Here's what our "block schedule" looks like. You can see how it fits in with other services in the neighborhood. Our events are shown in Orange. Our very close partner, Lifeworks Street Outreach, is shown in Blue. The Micah 6 Street Youth events are shown in purple. We closely collaborate with these organizations. Other help from neighbors is shown in gray.