Making Space For Youth In Crisis: A Message From Our CEO
By Charles Wolford II
Chief Executive Officer, Promise House
No one escaped 2020 without facing unprecedented challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic led to massive unemployment and social and economic disruption. Yet, in the midst of all that, your support enabled Promise House to continue to provide compassionate, unparalleled support to youth in crisis. We are making space for the most hard-to-place young people in Texas: LGBTQ children and youth; youth aging out of foster care ages 18-21; and young people with emotional, behavioral, and other challenges, because of you.
Many of those we serve have no other place to go. We are the only agency with shelter locations offering emergency shelter exclusively for young people ages 18 to 21. Additionally, we are one of only three agencies in all of Texas contracted to take “hard-to-place” youth, children who couldn’t be placed elsewhere.
At Promise House, our Temporary Emergency Placement Program serving “hard-to-place” youth has a “no reject, no eject” policy. That policy makes our work much more difficult but also more critical and necessary. It means that when a traumatized youth in our care begins to act out, we find a way to continue to care for them.
In 2020, many people worked from home to stay safe; our direct-care employees did not have that luxury. Parents struggled to ensure their children were educated in a virtual environment, meanwhile, our staff tackled those same challenges at home while also serving a population with many additional needs at work.
Our team members are being stretched and stressed like many others are experiencing during this period of “the Great Resignation.” Promise House must continue to hire and retain qualified team members equipped and committed to doing extraordinarily difficult work: Providing direct care to a challenging client base. Despite all this, we have many heroes here at Promise House who are doing excellent work serving kids.
While our needs continue to grow, we need your support to continue to serve as we make space for the most hard-to-place youth and young adults. Remember when you support the work of Promise House, you’re not simply helping a child or young person in need. Our work helps stem the tide of homelessness and avert trauma that could linger for years leading to chronic adult homelessness. Your investment in Promise House is an investment with a long return.
As always, we are grateful to the donors, foundations and volunteers, board members, and staff who join us in the fight against youth homelessness. Thank you for all that you do to help us make space for youth in crisis.
Chief Executive Officer
Charles Wolford II