The Place has partnered with Inside Out Youth Services (IOYS) to open a temporary Winter Drop-In Center. You can read the joint announcement below.
The PLACE is grateful that IOYS opened their space to our Street Outreach team this winter to meet some of the needs of the youth. This, of course, has been something we have been working towards–to help young people find a respite from the cold and street life…we are seeing this as a prototype for a permanent drop-in center and warming shelter in downtown Colorado Springs.
Joint Partnership Announcement for Youth Drop-In Center
COVID-19 hits hard against young people experiencing homelessness, especially for the approximate 150 youth in the Colorado Springs area who this month will survive night to night without any shelter.
The closure and greatly restricted schedules of some places where youth would normally seek short respites and safety is additionally complicated by the fact that The PLACE’s drop in “room” at its Cucharras Street youth shelter cannot be deployed for youth space this winter due to COVID-19 prevention and health precautions. The raging pandemic, dropping temperatures, and limitation of services and space mean young people experiencing homelessness right now are at dire risk of disease, increased vulnerability to assault or human trafficking, and freezing before they find the right help.
As key advocates for vulnerable young people in our community, Inside Out Youth Services and The PLACE collaborated on a temporary solution to save lives this winter. On December 10, 2020, our organizations launch a joint project to help young people experiencing homelessness who urgently need a warm, safe place to come indoors. The PLACE’s street outreach team will temporarily move into Inside Out’s physical space on North Wahsatch Avenue in downtown Colorado Springs to operate a temporary Youth Winter Drop In space.
With Inside Out’s LGBTQ+ youth programs successfully, temporarily, transitioned to an on-line platform, the agency is eager to put its physical space to good use. One in three of the young people connected with Inside Out programs is experiencing homelessness, and the Youth Winter Drop In operated by The PLACE means vital support can continue. Hours of operation will launch as 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.
The goals are simple. Young people between age 15 to 24 now living without shelter will find: 1) a safe, warm place to get inside from the cold; 2) supportive, non-judgmental, adults including mental health clinicians; 3) food, cold weather clothing, and basic hygiene items; and 4) the opportunity to connect with other resources that could spark their journey off the street.
Young people surviving outside deserve the chance to get in from the cold. We will keep our partners updated on the progress of the Youth Winter Drop In space.
Your continued support of vulnerable young people is an investment in the future of our world. Thank you.