5K runs up support for homeless youth

Sunday , July 30, 2017 - 12:00 AM

By CATHY TAYLOR
TX. Correspondent

Ever since Feb. 20, 2015, Youth Futures has helped to shelter and care for the homeless youth from ages 12-18. In downtown Ogden, the home offers shelter, drop-in services and street outreaches to aid homeless youth.

To support its mission, Youth Futures is holding a 5K Fun Run — “5 to Thrive” — Friday, Aug. 5.

Youth Futures provides 16 temporary overnight beds, which is a part of its crisis response. Along with a place to stay for the night, they supply kids with food, water and hygiene during their stay.

The staff and partnering businesses donate resources like clothing packs, survival items and transportation to aid youth in creating a safe space. Being the first overnight shelter for homeless youth, Youth Futures has worked with partners like Weber State University’s Center for Community Engaged Learning, Job Corps, Grandfamilies Kinship Care, Ogden Police Community Outreach and more.

Not only does Youth Futures provide immediate shelter, but the group also has outreach, intervention and aftercare programs. To connect with the at-risk youth, the organization has a social media tag, “#YouthFuturesUT” to use. Youth Futures also sets up information booths at places like city heritage days and workplace giving campaigns.

Youth Futures works to provide individual, group and family therapy by licensed professionals, and life skills classes, and also helps youth to connect to community resources.

There were 150 homeless youth ages 18-24 in Utah in 2016, according to the Point-in-Time count taken each January as part of a federal mandate. Of those youth, 132 were living in shelters and 18 were not; there were also 17 homeless youth who have children of their own in shelters. The figures come from the Comprehensive Report on Homelessness for Utah 2016.

The Outreach Resource Center in Salt Lake City reports that more than 50 percent of the homeless youth it serves are LGBTQ, according to Equality Utah.

The “5 to Thrive” race starts at 9 a.m. Aug. 5 with registration starting at 7:30 a.m. The event begins and ends at Youth Futures, 2760 Adams Ave. Admission is $25, or $15 for ages 5-14. Children age 4 and under are free. All participants receive a handmade tie-dyed shirt.

The proceeds from the race will benefit homeless youth. To register, visit Youth Future’s Facebook page

For more information on Youth Futures, go to the group’s website or call 801-528-1214.

Cathy Taylor will be a senior this fall at Syracuse High School. Email her at itsjustcattaylor@gmail.com.

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