Blog post by Matt Mendenhall, Vice President of Programs at the Community Foundation
Please take a moment to read this nice story about how youth at The Place2b provided a service to a family in need.
The Place2b started as a response to the John Lewis Youth Emergency Shelter closure. A group of community stakeholders began to meet in 2008 to develop a plan to strengthen our community’s capacity to support homeless and displaced youth. It has taken a lot of work and patience, but this cross-sector coalition seems to be hitting its stride. This project, for the Foundation, has been a great example of supporting a community priority through
convening, knowledge brokering, and other relationship-based work. We provided a small
grant a couple years ago for some strategic planning support.
We are all proud of the success and rapid expansion of the program, growing from about 3-5 youth each night to between 15 and 25 every night! They continue to expand their network of service opportunities that come to ThePlace2b center to work with the youth on academic credit recovery, meal preparation skills, writing clubs, and services from a range of social service agencies.
The YWCA has taken more ownership of the mission and operations of this drop-in center for youth who are either homeless or displaced in some way. The faith community continues to contribute dollars, meals, and volunteers. A St. Ambrose University marketing and communications class completed a full semester project on messaging opportunities related to the center’s mission.
What a great program for the youth of the QCA!