Youth Futures Donation
This Holiday Season the Stephen Wade Auto Center is planing to donate a total of $50,000 to three local charities engaged in work to help the homeless in Washington County – Youth Futures, the Washington County School District Foundation and Switchpoint. We sat down with Youth Futures Executive Director Kristen Mitchell to learn more about the work her organization does and how they help the youth of Washington County.
Youth Futures: Helping At Risk Youth in St. George and Washington County.
Youth Futures provides safe shelter, collaborative resources, respectful guidance and diverse support to homeless, unaccompanied, runaway and at-risk youth in both northern and southern Utah. They offer overnight shelter, drop-in services allowing youth to access food, clothing, hygiene items, laundry facilities, computer stations, and case management.
The History of Youth Futures:
Youth Futures was founded by Kristen Mitchell and Scott Catuccio, who had been conceptually planning to provide shelter and case management services to youth for over six years. It was identified that there was a lack of shelter services for the estimated 5,000 youth who experience homelessness for at least one night a year in Utah, so Scott and Kristen began researching other states that provide shelter services to youth. It was quickly identified that the largest barrier to providing services to homeless youth in Utah was a law prohibiting the opening of shelter facilities for youth.
During the 2014 Legislative Session, HB132 was passed, which allowed for rewriting the prohibitive law and drafting licensing procedures for residential support programs for temporary homeless youth shelter in Utah. Youth Futures and other homeless youth service providers participated in the rules writing process. The licensing rules enrolled on October 22, 2014, and the founders began to set-up the facility for licensing. Youth Futures received the first license for homeless youth shelter granted in the State of Utah under the new law.
Youth Futures Doors Open
Youth Futures opened Utah’s first homeless Residential Support Temporary Youth Shelter on February 20, 2015, with 14 temporary overnight shelter beds located in the heart of downtown Ogden.
In October of 2018 the doors opened on a second 16-bed Youth Futures facility in St. George.
Their shelter and drop-in services are available to all youth ages 12-17, and they will not exclude any youth who falls within these age ranges, regardless of circumstance. Intensive case management helps youth reunite with family or become self-sufficient, contributing members of our community. Weekly outreach efforts assist in building rapport with street youth, ensuring they receive food and other basic necessities and educating them about options to living in unsafe conditions. Youth are guided in a loving, supportive and productive way, encouraging their own personal path for a healthy future.