How do you “stay at home” – when you don’t have a home?
Our residents are three times more likely to contract the Covid-19 virus than the average citizen. Over the past six weeks, three symptomatic residents and one staff person have tested positive. To date, we have been blessed not to have had a major outbreak of the virus. One of the young people was just cleared by her doctor – along with her newborn. We are closely monitoring the other two residents. We ask you to keep them in your prayers.
In November, we were providing 24/7 care to an average of 162 youth and children — the most in our history. In March and April, we averaged 193 youth and children – a 20% jump.
Based on our post-Katrina experience, we expect in the weeks and months ahead to see a dramatic rise in violent and aberrant behavior: child abuse, physical and sexual assault, domestic and street violence, rape and trafficking, drug and alcohol abuse. We anticipate caring for 250 homeless and at-risk young people by mid-summer.
In the first two weeks of the pandemic, 85% of our youth lost their employment. They have not given up: 22% of them have found new employment or begun job training programs.
With more youth than ever in our care, our personnel, food, and PPR costs have grown dramatically. We estimate that our monthly expenses have increased by $52,000. This financial shortfall will continue to grow as we take in more young people in the weeks and months ahead.
We are the ONLY comprehensive residential program for runaway, homeless, trafficked, and at-risk youth in our state. Sadly, our youth were in their formative years (ages 0-5) when Katrina came ashore. For the vast majority, their adolescence was filled with abuse, violence, and trauma. Now, like all of us, their world has been further turned upside down.
No matter how many homeless and at-risk youth knock on our door, we promise you, there will always be room for one more.
Today, across our city and our country, is Giving Tuesday. It’s also the first day that you can schedule your GiveNola Day contributions to support non-profits in our community.
Each one is a child of God. Each one is beautiful, is worthy, and is most deserving.
Lastly, we ask for your continued prayers. Please be assured of ours for you and your loved ones.