What We’re Up To: Winter Alternatives
Since receiving the Community Development Block Grant through the City of Fairbanks, we’ve begun the process of renovating the shelter building, located at 138 10th Ave. The competitive bid process this grant requires means that the shelter construction will be completed, we hope, sometime next summer, with the shelter opening date sometime in the fall of 2013. We are grateful and excited to have the shelter torn down to its foundation, rebuilt and renovated, and ready to serve our youth for many years to come. This is an incredible gift, and we cannot turn it down.
Unfortunately, the timeline for shelter renovation would have meant that Fairbanks’ youth would not have safe solutions for their emergency shelter needs this winter. This won’t cut it; we can’t allow our youth to struggle through another winter, placing them in dangerous situations. We, as a community, have the resources to meet this need now, while the shelter is under reconstruction.
This winter, Fairbanks Youth Advocates, in partnership with First Presbyterian Church of Fairbanks, is hosting a temporary emergency shelter for teens. This shelter is designed to be a safe option for young people with nowhere else to go.
We have hired two full-time staff members to organize and run the shelter, Nicole Merriweather and Karalee Spear. They will be our hearts and minds on the ground with the youth and our volunteers. We are grateful and blessed to have them.
It takes many of us, working together, to successfully support our at-risk population. As a community, together, we can help our young people remain safe.
Ways you can help:
Give. See our needs list for our specific material needs for this project.
Donate. It is expensive to provide support for runaway & homeless youth. This project is currently completely donor-funded. Any little bit helps. Estimates put care for a teen at around $40 a day, for transportation, shelter, and food alone. How about Sponsoring a Youth? (details to come)
Volunteer. It will take many of us to work together to meet the needs of this vulnerable population. Do you have time to give? Are you willing to go through training and be background checked to help supervise youth overnight? Would you be willing to open your home and allow a homeless student to live with you short or long-term? Do you have any other ideas of ways to help? Apply.