Challenged by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. has created a special fund to deliver home-based services to young people who would otherwise be in youth prisons or congregate care facilities.
YAP partners with child welfare, youth justice, behavioral health and other systems in 29 states and the District of Columbia to provide safe community-based alternatives to out-of-home placement. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the greatest challenge in the nonprofit’s 45-year history.
“Social distancing has created a drop in our fee-for-service funding at the same time we’re experiencing an overwhelming demand for virtual youth and family services,” said YAP CEO Jeff Fleischer. “Our model relies on trained neighborhood Advocates empowering youth by helping them identify their strengths while connecting their families with tools to firm their foundation. These days, those are things like food, toiletries, cleaning supplies and support for assistance with utilities and technology to help us provide consistent, often daily video and tele-support.”
The YAP COVID-19 campaign comes when there is little to no relief for human services nonprofits and when resources for helping systems-involved youth and families are more strained than ever.
“How our nation emerges as a whole when we emerge from this pandemic will be largely impacted by the outcomes of families and communities that were struggling before the crisis began,” Fleischer said.
To support the YAP COVID-19 fund, please go to http://www.yapinc.org/covid19.