Each year Second Story sends a letter from our Board President to our community to review the past year and let you know how you can support us over the holiday season. If you would like to receive this letter next year, please contact us and we will add you to our mailing list. Happy holidays!
From my family to yours, we wish you a peaceful holiday season. We also thank you for your interest in ensuring every young person in our community has a safe place to sleep and opportunities to grow and thrive.
As President of Second Story’s Board of Directors, I’m proud to work with an organization that offers local young people in crisis alternatives to unsafe situations. Last fiscal year, we provided 77 youth with a safe place to stay for 921 nights and fielded 494 hotline calls through our emergency home, Second Story for Teens in Crisis.
Our long-term residential programs provided safe homes, counseling, and other services to 98 young people for up to 18 months each. Second Story for Young Mothers assisted an additional 236 mothers with non-residential services, like counseling, baby supplies and equipment, and other items. Through our community-based services, we distributed 1,445 backpacks, provided 4,300 individual tutoring sessions, fielded over 23,833 drop-in consultations, and provided 14,037 food distributions.
Behind these numbers are local young people and families who needed help over this past year. And thanks to our supporters, we were able to be there for them. I’d like to share a few examples with you.
“Marleny” was kicked out of her home and living with friends from church when she reached out to Second Story for Homeless Youth. After entering the program, she received rental assistance and was able to reduce her work hours and devote more time to her studies. She attended life skills group sessions and worked with her case manager to set goals and learn important skills, like financial management. Now, she’s on track to graduate and further her education at Northern Virginia Community College before transferring to George Mason University to study Criminology.
“Jake,” a fifth grader in our Springfield Safe Youth Project, shared with his program coordinator that he felt nervous and scared about his family’s financial struggles. His father was recently injured and unable to work his construction job to support the family. To protect Jake’s privacy among his peers, our staff discreetly set aside bags of food and toiletries for Jake’s family and referred them to the Springfield Family Resource Center, where they secured financial assistance to help them get by until Jake’s father could return to full-time work.
“Regina” never had a stable home growing up. Her family moved from place to place. During her senior year in high school, she got pregnant and moved in with her baby’s father, hoping for stability. Instead, he became abusive, prompting Regina to call the police. She was provided domestic violence resources and referred to Second Story for Young Mothers. Now, Regina finally has a safe, stable living environment where she can raise her child while working and learning how to give her daughter the life she never had.
“David” came to Second Story for Teens in Crisis because he needed a break from a hectic and abusive homelife with severe financial stress. His mother was an alcoholic and her boyfriend physically and verbally abused David. Despite the stress, David maintained a 3.9 GPA while taking International Baccalaureate (IB) classes in high school and held the dream to go to college and then law school. During his 29-day stay, he received crisis counseling and learned new coping strategies and life skills. Our staff was able to reunite David with his biological father and help him transition into a safe, stable home where he can focus on school and achieving his dreams.
For more than 50 years, Second Story has stepped in at critical moments to help youth and families in need. Locally, we’re at one of those critical moments in time when our community needs help. According to Fairfax County Government’s “Point-in-Time Count,” the number of people in families with children experiencing homelessness increased by 33 percent last year.
I invite you to stand with us and answer the call for help. I hope you will consider making a financial donation to support our mission. To give, visit www.second-story.org/givenow. Or consider joining our Beacon of Hope Society by pledging $1,000 or more for at least five years to make a long-term impact. If you recently donated, thank you. We hope you see the difference you are making and will consider sharing this letter with others.
I know you have a number of choices about how you spend your time and the organizations you support. By standing with Second Story, you’re supporting an organization that has been thoroughly evaluated by the major charity vetting organizations. We received a 4-star rating, 100 percent, from Charity Navigator. We are pleased to be a part of the 2023 Spur Local (formerly Catalogue for Philanthropy) Class of Critical Local Nonprofits and a recipient of Candid’s 2023 Platinum Transparency Seal.
We’re proud of these accomplishments. But we’re also proud of the way our community comes together to ensure we can continue serving local youth and families who need our help. Thanks for joining with us to make a difference. Every little bit of support increases our ability to make an impact. Together, we’re making our community stronger.
Second Story Board President