To Donate to the Empowering Youth For the Future campaign, please visit the How Can We Help page.
Mission – In partnership with the community, Homeless Youth Connection (HYC) raises awareness and meets the needs of homeless youth so they can stay in school and graduate. HYC's long term vision and ongoing goals are to provide homeless teens with housing, basic needs and services as they make positive, life-affirming choices toward becoming responsible, productive adults. Together with West Valley educators, government agencies, faith-based organizations, and compassionate community members and donors, HYC is helping to bring a positive future to this nearly forgotten population.
Phoenix's West Valley is home to approximately 1,800 homeless youth. In the 34 high schools served by HYC, over 500 youth have been identified as homeless according to McKinney-Vento. (The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth.) Currently, there are limited social services in the West Valley, none of which serve homeless youth. In metropolitan Phoenix, there are only a few agencies with programs that accommodate homeless youth and less than 100 beds for those in need.
HYC provides homeless youth with housing, food, clothing hygiene items, and school supplies. In addition to providing the basic necessities the youth need to survive, HYC provides additional support to help them thrive. HYC assists in finding services to ensure that each student receives the support required to graduate from high school. HYC has created new and strengthened existing collaborations with local community agencies, organizations, and businesses to provide a wide range of services including tutoring, medical care, counseling, mentoring, life skills training and career assistance.
Facts In the 2013 AZ DES Homelessness Annual Report, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Homeless Education Office reports 31,097 children were homeless throughout the state. Of those, 73% of the children were reported as doubled-up, or living temporarily with another family; 22% were living in shelters; 2% were living in unsheltered situations, such as cars, parks, campgrounds and abandoned buildings; and 3% were temporarily residing in hotels or motels due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations.