Shaw House’s Street Outreach Program connects with homeless and at-risk young people on the streets and areas where they congregate. Street Outreach workers engage with youth assisting them to leave the streets and access safe shelter and basic needs assistance.
The Street Outreach Program provides basic needs and survival aid to youth who are homeless, or living in unsafe situations, and connects them to housing, services and community resources to help them leave the streets.
One success story is Ryan, he was 17 when he arrived at the shelter and very angry at the world. Ryan’s behavior became too volatile and he began to upset other guests. Shaw House made the decision to ask Ryan to leave and return to New Beginnings shelter. Streetlight drove Ryan to the bus station and purchased the ticket to Lewiston. We stood there as Ryan was silent, standing with his over-sized backpack and sad look upon his face. Ryan stated he didn’t care that he was being sent back. He used different words. Our program director called the Streetlight phone and requested we return to the shelter with Ryan. New Beginnings refused to take him back. It was a silent ride back and upon returning to the shelter we met with the Program Director Rick. As Ryan and Rick spoke, Ryan’s lips curled and his eyes watered as he stated “I don’t give a f***.” It was very clear Ryan did care. It was later discovered Ryan was adopted and his adoptive mother was very cruel to him. Ryan began to be cruel to others as a form of self-defense. If he pushes others away, they are unable to hurt him or push him away. Ryan stayed at the shelter and is now living in Mason Place transitional living program. Streetlight has had the opportunity to take Ryan on several field trips and enjoyed seeing Ryan act like a “normal” 17 year old youth and grow as a young adult. Ryan is getting along better with others and will soon be moving on to college…..success.