Youth at Second Story for Teens in Crisis achieved something big recently: a change in their weekly schedule! It might not sound so exciting, but it’s a bigger deal than it might seem…
Residents have repeatedly petitioned for schedule changes that seem more favorable to them. One of Second Story for Teens in Crisis’s strengths is its careful, intentional schedule. Young people thrive on this routine during their time at Second Story for Teens in Crisis, and every moment of their day is carefully planned to ensure they have every opportunity to receive support and to grow. Schedule changes are a major decision.
This time, though, was a little different. The proposal coincided with a change in staffing patterns, and after a discussion between program leadership and counselors, Second Story staff approved the proposal…and residents rejoiced!
For residents, it was more than just receiving the schedule they preferred, it was a rewarding process. Residents wrote up a plan with pros and cons and submitted it to staff, then had the satisfaction of seeing their hard work rewarded. “When I heard that we made the change and our voice was heard, I felt very accomplished and happy that it worked and that people understood us,” one resident explained.
At Second Story we’ve always faced change with a steady but welcome approach. We remain committed to our core values to provide safety and opportunities to homeless youth and youth in crisis, and we are also welcome to new ideas and aware of the changing needs of young people. Some issues faced by young people today are the same issues they’ve been facing for decades – conflict with their parents and mental health issues, for example – and some issues could have hardly been imagined when our shelter was founded, like cyber bullying and the pressures of social media. We believe it’s essential, then, that we adapt our approach to meet this evolving set of needs. This spirit is all throughout our history: we’ve created programs when we’ve noticed new opportunities and needs and changed them if we believed we could be better supporting young people in another way. As a result, we now run four programs, some serving hundreds of young people, compared to our one founding program ran from a trailer in 1972!
Our vision is laser focused on doing everything we can to best support young people, and if that means small changes like schedule adjustments or big ones like opening new programs, we’re all in.