Services for homeless youth expand at the Beacon Center

Tacoma’s homeless youth have a new source of help and healing now that Community Home at Beacon Center officially opened a day program on July 11. Located in the Beacon Activity Center, Community Home offers more supports for young adults experiencing homelessness and new mental health-focused programs to serve young adults ages 18-24 from 8 a.m. to 5 days a week. The center also serves as an overnight shelter for 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Daily.

Seattle-based Life Enrichment Group (LEG) took over operations of the overnight shelter for young adults last December and oversee the day-to-day management of day services. Next year, LEG will celebrate its 20e anniversary of support for young adults across the great Seattle and Tacoma areas with culturally relevant programs focused on academic achievement and social/emotional support, with an emphasis on reaching those who are most often overlooked in society.

Community Home at Beacon Center East the city’s first intergenerational center in that it has always offered activity services for seniors. Since last December, LEG has been running the youth overnight shelter, and daytime programming is increasing operations to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. will benefit from the experience.

“It works both ways. It’s good for young people and it’s also good for elders,” said LEG founder Monika Mathews. “It’s very innovative. You have to think outside the box and shake things up a bit because we live in difficult times and there is a definite need for an intergenerational approach. If you just think of your grandmother that gives you wisdom and little nuggets – they’ve been on earth a bit longer so they have more information and wisdom for younger kids I think that’s a great feature.

Several new and innovative program areas for young people focus on improving life skills, workforce development, education and training, mental health and well-being, and housing stability and placement. Each youth has access to a case manager with significant investment from the City of Tacoma and Pierce County, helping the center provide case management and accompaniment services for up to 50 youth per night. The day center supports up to 100 people per day.

“We understand that it’s not enough to just house an individual and think that’s going to solve the problem. There are other elements of development, especially when you’re talking about a young person, that need to be considered. to keep him stable in this accommodation,” Mathews said. “If we don’t help them develop personally or develop their life skills or be able to keep a job, we know their chances of being homeless are higher.”

Former Seattle Seahawk and Tacoma native Marcus Trufant toured the newly expanded center during a July 20 public viewing.

“It’s kind of a thing for me that I always have to give back to the home team, I have to give back to Tacoma and take care of the kids. The kids have been a soft spot for my family and my organization for a long time,” Trufant said. “It’s beautiful here. The kids have a place to feel safe, to see what it’s like to be positive and to be in a successful situation – it’s just near and dear to my heart. Let’s do good for those kids – let them know we care and want them to reach for the stars.

Recognizing the complexities of homelessness and that no agency can tackle it alone, LEG maintains relationships with providers in Tacoma and throughout Pierce County.

“We have a lot of partners and people lining up to support us. It means people want to get involved in a cause that helps change the trajectory of our young people’s lives, so we’re really excited,” said said Mathews. We’re here to stay, we’re invested in our community, and we look forward to doing our part in this fight to break the cycle of homelessness.

Community Home at Beacon Center is always in need of volunteers and is also hiring for a variety of positions. Learn more about and send an e-mail to [email protected].

Matt Nagle Story: [email protected]

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