“Help us help them:” Fenix Youth Project opens new drop-in center, seeking donations for more programming
SALISBURY, Md.- The Fenix Youth Project is reaching new heights with its drop-in center.
No matter the address, Executive Director Amber Green says their goal remains the same. “We’re making sure that we’re getting resources to the youth and young adults. We’re making sure that we’re connecting people to jobs, housing, and opportunities so they can be productive citizens within the community,” Green said.
The new space located in Downtown Salisbury allows the non-profit to be closer to its community partners.
As Green puts it, it takes a village to provide a bright future for the next generation. “That’s the only way we’re going to be able to help this population is if we collaborate with other agencies,” Green said.
“Our neighbors the Maryland Coalition of Families and we’re right across the street from the City of Salisbury’s Housing First Program. So we’re right near our partners and we’re excited.”
With more space, means more staff. They’ve added both interns and AmeriCorps representatives. “People have biases and judgments about people who aren’t housed and I really wanted to help take those biases away. I think that coming here was the perfect place to do that,” Intern Kate Ryon said.
“Never be afraid to ask for help. If you need referrals for housing, food, or even just a place to hang. A safe space to hangout, do some homework, and things of that nature is what we’re here for,” AmeriCorps Representative Qwe’Sharr Dashiell said.
As they begin settling into their new home, they say they haven’t skipped a beat.
Green says there’s a desperate need for housing for youth ages 18 to 24 and keeping them off the streets is a challenge they’re up for. “We had to continuously take referrals and continuously still work with our clients and we’re seeing an increase in need,” Green said.
“All of our focus, the volunteers and the staff, is we’re making sure that we’re helping individuals and we need the community to kind of help us help them.”
As an answer to that growing need for housing, they’re in the works to open a youth shelter in Quantico. Due to the distance, they’re starting up a fundraiser for a van to help with transportation from the shelter to the the drop-in center.
Green also tells us that Fenix Youth Project is the only organization that provides direct services to homeless youth in the area.
The van they’re fundraising for will also provide transportation for students in not just Wicomico county, but Worcester and Somerset.
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