SARASOTA, FL – Since 1991, the Safe Children Coalition Youth Shelter has addressed the needs of thousands of youths and families in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. The Youth Shelter serves a target population of youth, ages 10 to 17, who are either homeless, have run away, are ungovernable, truant, at risk of becoming homeless and/or have been abused or abandoned and are awaiting placement within the foster care system. All youth are accepted regardless of their point of origin.
Currently, Safe Children Coalition (SCC) has three vans to transport the children staying at the Shelter to and from school, activities, and appointments. One of those vehicles has high mileage and frequent maintenance issues. In order to ensure that youths at the Youth Shelter are transported safely, the Roberta Leventhal Sudakoff Foundation has awarded SCC a grant of $30,000, which the nonprofit used to purchase a 2021 Toyota Sienna.
The primary goal of the Youth Shelter is to transition youth to a more permanent, safe living situation aimed at reunification with their family whenever possible. The Shelter provides youth with 24-hour access to a temporary safe-haven and corresponding support services, such as emergency shelter, food, clothing, educational services, comprehensive assessment, crisis intervention, individual, group and family counseling, service linkages, family reunification services, life skills development, case management, tutoring, transportation to school, recreational programs and referral to aftercare services, 365 days per year.
Maintaining a structured daily schedule supports youth as they gain the skills necessary to successfully transition to young adulthood. Youths at the shelter are provided with extensive support services through the Prevention/Counseling program, a continuum of services that address the immediate needs of each youth. All services are provided free of charge to every youth in need.
The Shelter serves approximately 200 youth annually – more than 8,000 have been served over the past 30 years. Youth typically stay at the Shelter for 10-14 days; approximately 93% who were discharged from shelter services are reunited with their families or are placed in safe and stable living arrangements. The Shelter is the only community emergency shelter in Sarasota and DeSoto counties serving runaway, homeless, ungovernable, truant, respite, foster care, and any other youth in need of emergency services.
“Regardless of the children’s county of origin, we are committed to keeping them connected to as many familiar routines and places as possible, to maintain stability,” said Brena Slater, president, and CEO of Safe Children Coalition. “Our goal for the Youth Shelter is to increase young people’s safety, social and emotional well-being, and self-sufficiency, while building permanent connections with families, communities, schools and other positive social networks. We are so grateful to the Sudakoff Foundation for ensuring we can provide the safest possible transport for the children in our care.”
For more about Safe Children Coalition, visit sccfl.org.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies that provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include: child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services as well as other social service programs. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.