Street Outreach

On Their Own Turf

Children’s Village’s Street Outreach Program started in 1998 as a way to reach the thousands of alienated youth who spend all or most of their nights on the streets of Westchester County’s urban centers. These kids, who are often victimized and sexually exploited, do not typically seek help and thus are missed by most programs designed to help youth.

The Street Outreach Program is premised on the belief that youth can make positive changes in their lives if presented with reasonable alternatives to street life. Services are offered on the youth’s home turf in a manner that encourages trust and acceptance, and delivered by staff who can relate to youth in a culturally and age-appropriate way. A significant goal of the program is helping youth to identify positive alternatives and make active, healthy choices for themselves.

The program uses a graffiti-painted van that goes out at night visiting the places where kids “hang out.” To forge relationships with these troubled youth, the StreetWise team establishes a consistent, familiar presence in the urban areas it visits. Counselors invite youth on board the StreetWise van for a break from the streets, an invitation which can be especially welcome in the dead of winter. Once engaged in conversation, they assess the youths’ conditions and living situations and initiate give-and-take about risky behaviors.

Education/Employment Center

Centrally located in Getty Square in Yonkers, the Education/Employment Center (EEC) is a drop-in center that helps youth from throughout Westchester find jobs and prepare for careers. It is open 9 to 5 Monday through Friday.

The Center has state-of-the-art internet-equipped classrooms, a computer lab, computer workstations for resume writing and job seeking, access to the National Work Readiness Credential and Career Zone, and a reference library.

The EEC has relationships with employers and has operated County-funded youth employment programs for more than 10 years.  The Center has experience providing jobs for youth through Summer Jobs Express, WIOA/ARRA, and WOOC programs.

For more information, contact our Employment Services Supervisor, Jamalya Harley-Smith at jharley@childrensvillage.org.

In addition to being a career resource, the EEC is also home to BraveHearts, a youth-led advocacy program for youth in foster care.

Hotline

Our hotline is available 24/7 for teens in crisis in Westchester and Rockland counties. They can speak to a counselor and learn about services that can help them. If they need to get to a safe place, we will pick them up and take them to our Sanctuary Shelter.

The hotline is also available to families who need help dealing with a teen in crisis and to youth workers, counselors, police officers, and others who want to refer a teen to our shelter.

Westchester & Rockland Emergency Hotline: 1-888-997-1583 or 1-877-540-7680.

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