|WIND Youth Services' logo.|
WIND Youth Services, the only organization in the Sacramento area that caters exclusively to homeless youths, is in the business of helping young people put their lives back together. Through its emergency shelter, day center and school, the North Sacramento-based nonprofit serves a population largely ignored in public policy and programs for the homeless.WIND helps, not just kids who are homeless in the typical usage of that word, but, too, kids who are living lives of “couch surfing.” That is, displaced kids in Sacramento who are not in a circumstance that allows them to be educated and properly taken care of are the target of WIND’s aid.
“That’s a gap that we fill,” says JD Rudometkin, director of development and community outreach at WIND. “There are places in town where mothers and babies can be housed, but we are basically the only place in town where teens can be housed.”
In her article, Warmerdam profiles three situations where “displaced” teenagers are getting turned around using WIND’s services:
- Annie is a 17-yr-old who is gracious and college-bound, yet lives in a tent. She attends WIND’s charter school to earn a high-school diploma.
- DeJon, a 19-yr-old, works with a WIND caseworker to get his life back in order. He is eager to get things turned around since his girlfriend is two-months pregnant with his child. He is “hoping to enroll in substance abuse and anger management programs.” Since he is of adult age, he cannot use the WIND shelter.
- Mistiee was homeless and struggling and had three teenage boys. WIND is helping the boys with their education, while Mistee stays nearby using resources to put the family back together in a happy home.