- San Diego
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $500,000)
San Diego Youth Services (SDYS), a 501(c)3 organization, has improved the lives of 770,000 homeless, runaway, and other vulnerable youth since opening in 1970 as one of the first shelters for youth in the nation. Since 2002, SDYS has been at the forefront of serving youth and transition-age youth (TAY) survivors of sex trafficking (ST) or Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) in San Diego, now through the Surviving Together, Achieving and Reaching for Success (STARS) and ICARE programs. To prevent trafficking and effectively serve those who have experienced ST/CSE in SD County, SDYS proposes to implement a program to identify and serve girls under age 18 who have runaway or are experiencing homelessness and are thus highly vulnerable to trafficking victimization. SDYS proposes to implement a program to identify and serve girls under age 18 who have runaway or are experiencing homelessness and are thus highly vulnerable to trafficking victimization.
The proposed prevention and early intervention model will incorporate evidence-based Expressive Arts therapy with Word on the Street ST/CSE prevention curriculum and ongoing case management, mentoring, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts to reduce barriers and increase access to culturally responsive services. Services will be grounded in the use of trauma-informed care and culturally and developmentally responsive and participant-centered approaches using the evidence-based practice Motivational Interviewing (MI) 29 as part of case management. Cultural responsiveness is essential to create an environment shaped by and welcoming of all cultural, racial, ethnic, linguistic, gender, and sexual orientation backgrounds, including a reflective and inclusive environment, staffing, and program, which is why SDYS proposes specific activities to reduce barriers and increase access to services and equitable outcomes in alignment with Priority 1A.
SDYS is applying for Priority 1A, knowing there is a disproportionate overrepresentation of and lack of leadership opportunities for Black/AA, Latina/o/x, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ YEH, who will be SDYS’s priority population, especially those with system-involvement, e.g., foster or justice involved.
With requested funds over three years, SDYS will provide 90 female minors experiencing homelessness: Emotional support, Safety, and Health Services: case management, crisis intervention, support groups (132 hybrid artistic expression and prevention education groups and 132 mentoring groups), other therapy (art therapy), safety planning, mentoring; Information and referral: information about trafficking and available resources, referral to other victim service programs, services, supports, and resources, including substance abuse treatment; Personal Advocacy/Accompaniment: individual advocacy, transportation assistance, family reunification, and interpreter services; Education/Employment/Life Skills: life skills and job readiness services.