In the wake of shelter-in-place mandates to fight COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to stay connected to at-risk youth and families, especially those living in Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities with less access to healthcare, education, and nutritious foods essential to stay healthy.
Your Mother’s Day gift this year can help Youth Service, Inc. continue to help the hundreds of mothers—many of whom live at or near the poverty line—who depend on the programs and services we provide to help keep their children safe and healthy.
Always responsive and flexible, our team pivoted at the start of the quarantine to offer remote programming, resources, emergency funding, and more to mothers facing separation from loved ones, financial crisis, and the balancing act of having to serve as essential workers while caring for their children.
Here are just a few of the ways we are helping our clients through the pandemic:
The respite childcare team at our Baring House Crisis Nursery in West Philadelphia has been working tirelessly to help mothers navigate the quarantine’s impact on their children. The crisis nursery is a 24-hour program providing safe, temporary childcare for children newborn to age 5. It has been crucial in helping mothers like Kiara who are essential workers experiencing financial hardship:
Kiara is a dental assistant who has been using the childcare services at Baring House during the quarantine. Every day, she puts her own health concerns aside to provide essential services to the community through her employer, a nonprofit healthcare organization. Due to financial hardship, she cannot afford to miss a day of work. Baring House has enabled her to keep working. “I appreciate them being open during this time of crisis because I can go to work and make a living for our family,” she says.
YSI’s Truancy Intervention & Prevention Program is overcoming barriers to technology to keep youth engaged in school during the quarantine. Amy and their children.
Amy and her children, a family in YSI’s Truancy Intervention & Prevention program, were devastated when a fire tore through their home earlier this year. Amy found a new place for them but had no money to replace the belongings and furnishings that transform a house into a home. YSI staff provided Amy with emergency funds and gift cards to purchase beds, a table, chairs, and linens. YSI also ensured that Amy’s children had access to the technology necessary to participate in remote instruction for school so they continue making progress.
During the pandemic, staff in YSI’s Runaway and Homeless Youth program at our Youth Emergency Service shelter have not only been keeping residents safe from the virus, but also reunited 16-year-old Jaden with his mother Maria.
At age 13, Jaden lost his father. Reeling from grief and trauma, his relationship with his mother began to deteriorate. During the pandemic, Jaden left home and came to Youth Emergency Services (YES), YSI’s emergency youth shelter. YSI provided a safe place for him to stay, healthy meals, counseling, and enriching activities. The team set up online conferences with Maria to begin the healing and reunification process. Jaden has moved back home with Maria and YSI will continue to provide supports as they rebuild their future together.
Your support today is especially critical in our ability to continue to offer our high-quality, vital services through the pandemic and beyond. In honor of your mother on this Mother’s Day, please make a gift to help us give more families like the ones above access to this level of support during these very challenging times.
Yours in service,
Youth Service, Inc.