Every month for more than six years, TBA members of all ages have joined together to donate food and their time to give homeless youth a break from their lives on the streets of Seattle. On December 1, the energetic and enthusiastic Temple Beth Am Teen Feed Meal Team once again showed a group of 60 homeless youth that there are people in our community who care about their welfare. While our guests enjoyed a delicious, healthy and nutritious meal they were also able to get out of the cold, visit with friends and receive help from Teen Feed staff and trained volunteers.
Teen Feed serves meals 365 nights a year to homeless youth ages 13-25. This year Teen Feed will serve more than 13,000 meals. Along with the meal program, Teen Feed has two other integrated programs to help youth find a way off of the streets. Service Links to Youth (SLY) is a one-on-one case management program designed to help youth who are ready to begin the transition to life off the street and achieve specific goals such as a job, housing, or a GED. So far this year 38 youth entered safe and stable housing as a result of their work with SLY. Street Talk Outreach Program (STOP) is aimed at high-risk homeless youth who avoid traditional social service agencies. STOP sends out teams of outreach counselors to meet youth in their own environment — the streets, alleys, and shops of the University District. STOP made over 1,260 contacts with youth through October 2011 and has helped 16 youth attain permanent housing.
I am truly thankful to share this experience and opportunity with my TBA friends. The TBA meal team donates and serves dinner the first Thursday of every month. If you’d like more information about volunteering, please contact TBA Meal Team Leader Megan Aukema.