The Homeless Youth Resource Center underwent renovations organized by Salt Lake Community College English 2010 class and the Home Depot, on Saturday, Feb 27. This was a group assignment for students to present a campaign using different genres and mediums but this group took it even further.
The Homeless Youth Resource Center is operated by the Volunteers of America and is open from 11:30 am to 7:00 p.m. every day. The number of teens using the facility has more than doubled in the last year. They provide services to homeless youth through street outreach, a drop-in center and transition opportunities. Offerings include basic needs items, a chance to take a shower or do some laundry, and have a meal. Youth can also attend classes, receive referrals for human services and participate in ongoing case management. The Center strives to provide a safe place for homeless teens but also helps to move them out of homelessness and onto the path of self-sufficiency.
Four SLCC students lead by Colton Johnson, 22, Sociology major and other volunteers contributed to The Center. Home Depot provided materials including paint, molding, cabinets and shelves. Both front offices received a fresh coat of paint and the storage areas were organized. Shelves and cabinets now allow for more organized areas with maximum storage. The resource center has just one washing machine and one dryer but new counter space was made for a folding area.
The team of volunteers worked together to build and assemble benches which were placed outside The Center. Because the teens cannot stay the night they often group together in front of the building, or sit on the side of the curb. The benches provided a new seating area with a garbage can and smoker’s outpost filling out the new outdoor furniture order. SLCC students also worked with Sears for donations which included gift cards, laundry soap and sleeping bags.
Even if needs were fulfilled through the service project, the students still see more they can do. They are working to obtain additional donations and want to provide more days of service. The Homeless Youth Resource Center always needs volunteers to cook meals, donations including coats (new or gently used), backpacks, socks, sleeping bags and gift cards ($5 and $10 for fast food or grocery store). Items can be dropped off at 511 W 200 S in Salt Lake City, UT 84101 (Suite 160 in the southwest corner of the building). Monday – Friday 8:30 am -5:00 pm. Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801-3693-9414.
“We have more homeless youth here in Utah and before I took on this project, I had no idea how bad the conditions were. We want to continue to offer service so we can help them out”, Carli Rackham, 24, Biology major.
The students will soon present their group campaign assignment but some have already displayed significant acts of service for the homeless Utah youth.