People do better throughout their lives when they receive support and opportunities from within their communities to strengthen their social, emotional, financial and physical wellbeing. YAP engages in a number of activities designed to create the best possible environments so that all people can thrive as healthy, well-rounded and fully engaged members of their communities.
A significant step to creating the best possible environments is to address the barriers within communities that contribute to poor outcomes for people. YAP understands that systemic racism, bias, and prejudice have contributed to disparities across systems, and that consequently people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with mental illnesses, and young people with developmental disabilities are overrepresented in youth prisons and other out of home placements, where they are too often subjected to trauma and harm.
Detention, youth prison, and placements in congregate care separate youth from family and community. YAP’s community-based alternatives help program participants and their families achieve life skills and other goals in safe, supportive community environments.
Because helping individuals develop to their potential is closely tied to addressing the root causes that contribute to their challenges, YAP carries out our mission using multiple strategies, including direct services, advocacy and policy change, training and consultation and investing in futures.