San Francisco’s largest nonprofit providing services for homeless teens and young adults received a $2.5 million grant from the state.
Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, announced at a press conference on Monday that the Larkin Street Youth Services is one of four recipients to receive money from a $10 million grant which Ting secured last year in the state budget for the Homeless Youth Emergency Services and Housing Program.
Ting said homeless programs need to have a “multi-prong” approach in helping young teens who are homeless:
“We can’t just treat this population as if we would treat adults. Young people are different. There issues are different. The reasons they are on the streets are for different reasons.”
The Larkin Street Youth Services since 1984 has helped more than 75,000 young people in providing housing, education, employment training, shelter and health and wellness support.
Anubis Daugherty from San Francisco, a client of Larkin Street, said the organization has changed his life.
Daugherty was homeless for a number of years in his teens after leaving home when his relationship with this mother was not good. He had lived on the sidewalks in the Haight and in the Castro.
An outreach worker from Larkin Street spoke with him in 2016 and Daugherty decided to see what the program was about.
Daugherty joined organization’s Pathways program where they helped him earn his GED and find an apartment for him.
“The change has been radical.”
Since then, Daugherty joined Larkin Street’s youth advisory board where he advocates for youth homeless programs in The City and in the state.
Daugherty is now taking classes at City College of San Francisco and began a new internship with Larkin Street on the same team that reached out to him when he was homeless:
“It’s surreal and so is stranding here speaking at the press conference with the mayor of San Francisco and a state assemblymember here in the Haight where I laid my head on the very concrete you are standing on.”
“Without Larkin Street, I would still be homeless. I could be dead.”
Sherilyn Adams, executive director of Larkin Street, said in previous years that the state had only provided $1 million a year for young people who are homeless. Adams said:
“This investment in this community… will go a long way towards helping to alleviate the number of young people who are unsheltered, who don’t have access to housing and supporting services across the state.”
Adams said the organization will use the grant to expand services at their engagement center, including opening for longer hours, provide more access to emergency housing and behavioral health support.
Mayor Mark Farrell said:
“We want our youth in San Francisco to be chasing down their dreams and aspirations, not thinking about where their next meal is coming from.”
Other counties also receiving a $2.5 grant include Santa Clara, Los Angeles and San Diego.