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SUFK Phoenix Program Summary

SUFK Phoenix Program Summary

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Published by Timothy Huffman
A summary of StandUp For Kids Phoenix programs.
A summary of StandUp For Kids Phoenix programs.

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Published by: Timothy Huffman on Apr 30, 2012
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StandUp For Kids – Community-based Service to Homeless Youth

StandUp For Kids is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit charitable organization that finds and serves homeless and at-risk youth 24 and under. StandUp For Kids (SUFK) Phoenix runs two main programs, Street Outreach and our Youth Center, which help up to 100 youth per week in Phoenix and Tempe. SUFK was founded in 1990 in San Diego, CA, by retired naval officer, Richard L. Koca. It quickly spread throughout the U.S. and continues to grow with approximately 60 programs in over 25 states. Created in 1992, SUFK Phoenix is one of the oldest and most established SUFK programs in the nation.

Homeless Youth in Maricopa County
On any given night in Maricopa County, there are around 120 youth under the age of 18 on the streets and in shelters. In a year, there are over 2,200 homeless youth between the ages of 13 and 24, including those who have run away, been thrown away, or have fallen out of the foster care system. Youth face significant challenges meeting their needs, including food, water, shelter, hygiene, employment, transportation, housing, education, and health care. While many organizations exist to provide services to the homeless, complicated procedures make it difficult for unaccompanied youth to navigate on their own. Youth struggle to find community or build relationships, as many service agencies are understaffed. Also, programs often expose youth to dangerous situations or clients.

SUFK Phoenix Programs
Street Outreach
On street outreach, we find youth under 24 and provide food, water, hygiene products, clothing, and referrals to social services. Our teams serve both downtown Phoenix and Mill Avenue in Tempe. In Phoenix, we drive our purple, StandUp van to several shelters to serve the many youth who congregate in the area. In Tempe, we don backpacks and walk Mill Avenue. Outreach is valuable to youth because it helps meet immediate needs and connect them with other services. It also provides an opportunity for volunteers to treat them with compassion. Since many youth face social stigma on the streets, outreach is a much needed demonstration of basic dignity. It is also important for volunteers to build rapport with the youth and invite them to the Our House Youth Center.

Our House Youth Center
Our House was established to provide a safe environment for homeless youth. At the drop-in center, youth can get hot meals, take a shower, wash clothes, and use the computer. We work with youth one on one to establish and pursue goals, including aiding them in attaining IDs, receiving medical attention, building résumés, finding jobs, locating housing, getting into school, and more. Youth can use the center’s address for job and

housing applications. We also offer weekly guitar lessons, games, dancing, sports, and other engaging activities. We strive to create a family environment of tolerance and acceptance, with the goal of building a community of mutual respect and support. Unlike being handed food in a line from an anonymous volunteer, at Our House youth and volunteers cook, eat meals, and clean up together. In these simple interactions, youth and volunteers alike come to know and trust each other more. By creating genuine trust, we can work better together to navigate the various human service agencies and find employment, housing, and educational opportunities.

SUFK Phoenix Highlights
 Entire staff is volunteer, including executive director and leadership team  Focuses on youth development through relationship building  Coordinates with Arizona State University and University of Phoenix service learning programs  Volunteers interact directly with youth  Many leaders and staff within other valley homeless service organizations started by volunteering with SUFK  Runs a biannual street retreat, where older youth and volunteers live homelessly on the streets of Phoenix to improve leadership and awareness of homeless issues  Networks with various organizations, from youth sports teams to churches. SUFK encourages supporting organizations to visit the youth house and see their impact rather than simply dropping off donations.

Program Efficiency and Effectiveness
SUFK has been recognized by both the Bush and Clinton administrations and the U.S. Department of Justice for its impact and scope of programs. Charity Navigator recognizes SUFK as one of the most efficient and effective nonprofits in the United States. SUFK Phoenix is no exception. We serve between 50 and 100 youth each week. Each year, we provide:        1,200 bags of outreach food 2,600 family-style meals at the youth house 1,000 hygiene products 600 showers 800 loads of laundry 2,000 referrals/youth objectives 4,000 direct volunteer hours

Supporting SUFK Phoenix
Efficiency Because of the generous in-kind donations of the community, every $1 donated to SUFK Phoenix becomes $5 of service to homeless youth. Effectiveness By working downtown and in Tempe, SUFK Phoenix serves approximately 35% of the population of all homeless youth in Maricopa County each year. Program Stability Funds help maintain service delivery even if a particular item runs out. Program Expansion Regular giving allows SUFK to further develop programs that help youth become confident, successful adults. We would like to expand the hours of operation of the youth center, develop and run a GED prep retreat, engage in outreach more often and in more cities, and open a youth house in Tempe.

Because SUFK is all donation and all volunteer, it delivers the above services at low out-of-pocket cost. Our programs run on 83% donated goods and services, while the other 17% are direct costs (paid for by donated funds).

Annual Program Details
Value of Donated Goods/Services Outreach Youth House Total $39,000 $78,000 $117,000 Out-ofPocket Expenses $2,000 $21,200 $23,200

StandUp For Kids Phoenix 625 W. McKinley St., Phoenix AZ 85003 phoenix@standupforkids.org

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