Note: While the Fannie C. Harris drop-in center, operated by CitySquare, had to suspend operations following the City of Dallas’s orders for shelter in place, students can still reach out for support by phone.
Of the homeless youth population, After8toEducate is tackling the most vulnerable population of unsheltered high school students. Under the federal definition, “homeless” means youth who lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, ranging from living in a motel or on a friend’s couch. This federal definition includes “unsheltered” which means living in a car, park, campground, street, or abandoned building.
Overwhelming research shows that unsheltered students are at a greater risk of falling behind academically, and in turn more likely to drop out of school. In addition to being susceptible to educational setbacks, they often face a myriad of social and health problems such as drug and alcohol addiction, unemployment, teen pregnancy, depression, and involvement with the criminal justice system.
After8toEducate is the first all-encompassing program to support unsheltered high school youth in Dallas. After8 brings together community resources to reduce the number of unsheltered young adults and foster self-sufficiency. After8toEducate offers an umbrella solution to allow unsheltered high school students to develop academically, emotionally, and socially to ultimately live healthy and productive lives. In collaboration with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and local organizations, After8 provides a three-pillar program that addresses the unsheltered youth that are currently enrolled in DISD high schools and support immediate needs of other homeless young adults ages 14-21.
The Fannie C. Harris Youth Center’s Drop-In Center serves homeless youth ages 14-21 with immediate support services. These services include access to showers, laundry facilities, meals, and clothing. The Drop-In Center offers social services reconnecting youth to education and providing housing stabilization support, employment resources and access to healthcare. Current hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9am-6pm. The Drop-In Center is operated and managed separately by CitySquare.
The residential services component will serve unsheltered Dallas ISD high school students with emergency shelter and transitional living services. This component will be operated and managed separately by Promise House.
While many of us retreat to our homes when ordered to shelter in place, unfortunately many unsheltered youth have no place to go. Many find themselves unable to protect themselves from the highly contagious virus or stuck in an unsafe situation. One such youth resorted to building a makeshift shelter out of leftover construction materials near the center.
The residential services wing at the center is close to being completed. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted our ability to open the doors and operate as an emergency youth shelter. Now, more than ever, we need your help . Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.