Homeless Youth Justice Program

Goodbye, April!

We’ve been celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week on Facebook by sharing old stories from the blog about some of our best and hardest-working volunteers. This month, we shared a new story about a volunteer attorney named Tim Fox, who is always committed to going “Above and Beyond” for our clients. We then met a recent employee of the Clinic, Jim Floyd, who started out as a volunteer for the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

A New Guardian

Nearly a year and a half earlier, Tyler and his father drove from their home in Missouri to Indianapolis. His father was going to drop Tyler off for a week-long visit with his Aunt Sara. But at the end of the week, Tyler’s father did not return. “Dad left and never came back,” says Kelsey. For a time, Tyler’s father still made some effort at contact. “He would send [Tyler] cards every once in awhile, so he didn’t totally disappear, but he wouldn’t come back for him,” Kelsey says. “He always said he didn’t have money to come back and get him.”

Hope for Homeless Youth

A pivotal element of HYJP is the Program Manager, Ben Hayes. Unlike the two attorneys who work cases for Outreach’s youth, Ben’s position is more nebulous. His job is to build relationships and to create a bridge between their kids and our attorneys. Most of the youth that go through Outreach know what it’s like to be burned by someone they were supposed to be able to trust—in fact, that is usually an inciting incident to them becoming homeless in the first place. “Every one of them is going to have a different story,” Ben says. The one thing they all have in common though? Trauma. According to a series of internal surveys conducted by Outreach in 2014, 71% of their young woman said they were sexually abused before the age of 18 and 88% of their young men saw their mother beaten before the age of 18.

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