When the CEDARS Youth Opportunity Center opened at the end of January 2017, staff projected that in the first year they would make 750 contacts with youth experiencing homelessness or who are at risk. Through these connections, resources could be provided and relationships could be built so that without pressure or judgment youth could be offered safe ways to leave the streets.
The CEDARS Youth Opportunity Center, called YOC for short, is an expansion of CEDARS 70-year-old tradition of providing safe refuge to children and youth who have no other safe place to spend the night.
Any youth age 13-21 can “drop in” at the YOC for a meal, laundry, personal hygiene items, help with job or housing applications, and more.
By the end of June, the CEDARS team at the YOC made over 800 contacts with youth and are currently serving over 90 youth who rely on support three or more times a month.
This critical aid to youth in crisis would not be possible without the support of the community to deliver life-changing services to children and families.
This year, CEDARS will serve 2,750 children, youth and their families through comprehensive efforts to help kids in crisis and build strong families. Nearly 300 children and youth will stay in CEDARS care over the holiday season.