Happy new year! Actually – happy new decade! In 2020 we celebrate not only a new year but a new decade, and we’re feeling extra thankful for all the ways we have grown, with your help, over the past 10 years.
Over the past decade we expanded two of our programs, began working in new communities, changed our name, and empowered young people to tell stories in new ways. We met with thousands of you to share about our programs and served tens of thousands of youth and families in our community. We’ve grown and changed and found new, better ways to serve youth.
Here are some of our 2010-2019 highlights…
2012: Second Story for Homeless Youth (then known as the Homeless Youth Initiative) expanded, giving opportunities for more 18-22 year olds to receive housing and counseling through Second Story.
2013: We began managing the Culmore and Springfield Family Resource Centers. These centers provide bilingual support for families looking for employment, filling out documents, or in need of other resources, in addition to ESL classes, parenting classes, and partnerships with pro bono legal and medical clinics.
2014: We opened our third Safe Youth Project in Springfield. Second Story’s Safe Youth Projects provide a safe place for young people to go after school. Young people share a meal together, receive homework help, go on field trips, and learn from volunteers and people in the community.
2015: We hosted our first back to school fair, distributing backpacks and school supplies to families in need. We’ve hosted one every year since!
2016: Second Story for Homeless Youth expanded again with a program called “Rapid Rehousing.” This program works with young people in shelters or fitting into the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homelessness and puts them in safe housing right away, without needing to meet other standards first.
2017: Alternative House changed its name to “Second Story,” a name that better encompasses the scope of our work and the new narrative our clients are writing for themselves.
2018: We began telling stories of people in our community and young people we’ve supported through our podcast “Second Stories.”
2019: We implemented our new online volunteer signup process. This makes it easier for you to get connected with volunteer opportunities and for us to support our volunteers.
2019: We launched our fundraising campaign, “Together We Do More” to help us meet the gap of rising costs and lay a foundation for the future.
Two groups stand out to us as we review this past decade: the young people we have the honor of serving and you. We do this work because we believe every young person deserves a safe haven and opportunities to grow and thrive, and you help us do that. We feel confident going into this new decade with your support, and eager to come alongside more young people.
Thank you for all you’ve done for us over the years. We can’t wait to see what we can do together in the years to come.