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SF commits millions toward slashing youth homelessness

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Sherilyn Adams, executive director of Larkin Street Youth Services, interacts with Yesi Alemehye, left, a current client, at a press conference launching a program providing housing and jobs for homeless youth at Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, October 11, 2018.

A new campaign in San Francisco seeks to help 500 homeless young people as part of The City’s plan to cut youth homelessness in half by 2022.

Mayor London Breed announced on Thursday the “Rising Up” campaign that will help Transitional Age Youth between the ages of 14 and 18 to help find jobs and housing.

Breed said:

“In San Francisco, it is estimated that about 1,255 young people that are TAY youth actually live on our streets and 49 percent are LGBT. We have to do a better job at addressing this issue.”

Breed added:

“What we want to do is break the cycle of homelessness. We want to take care of this young population so that they don’t continue to live in this kind of situation.”

The City committed an initial $6 million to fund the campaign and an additional $3 million will come from the non-profit Tipping Point Community.

Daniel Lurie, CEO and Founder of Tipping Point Community, said:

“In order to achieve this goal, which also The City’s goal, we must do a better job of identifying vulnerable populations earlier in their lives. 50 percent of all chronic homeless individuals becomes homeless before their 25th birthday.”

Homeless youth participating in the campaign will receive support to find housing in the private market and receive move-in assistance such as helping to pay the security deposit and furnishings. They will also receive an average monthly rent subsidy of $750 for up to three years, and services to help find and maintain employment.

The City’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Services will also help by identifying and referring participants to non-profits and working with other city departments on the campaign.

Both the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and The Hotel Council have pledged to help find jobs for the participants in the hospitality sector, according to The Mayor’s Office.

Additionally, the venture philanthropy company REDF has pledged to help participants find social enterprise jobs.

The Larkin Street Youth Services is the fiscal sponsor of the campaign and will coordinate with other youth service programs throughout The City.

Sherilyn Adams, executive director of the Larkin Street Youth Services, said:

“By launching this today, we say we see you. We’re going to help you and we’re going to make sure that it is unacceptable to have young people sleeping on our streets in this city ever again.”

The campaign is still seeking $21 million in philanthropic support as well as additional jobs and apartments from the private sector.

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