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Black Lives Matter

Youth Focus stands against systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment. As an organization deeply committed to diversity and inclusion, we stand against the legacy of systemic bias, racism, and unequal treatment that continues to plague our communities.

When you work in social work, social injustices and mistreatment of marginalized populations manifest themselves daily.  When I worked as a therapist, I would often hear stories from young black clients who were discriminated against, or who would admit to feeling afraid and unsafe in certain places because of the color of their skin.  Once, a black male youth told me he did not trust the police and was afraid of what they might do to him because the police killed both his father and grandfather. The trauma of those experiences was apparent in his anxiety, fear, and anger. I have seen time and time again, black youth getting suspended and receiving legal charges at higher rates than their white peers for the same actions.  I quickly learned the reality of white privilege as I listened and learned from the experiences of those around me.

In our organization, the most important thing we can do for the youth and families we serve is to listen to their stories and truly try to empathize with their situation.  This will lead to learning, growth, and connection.   

There can be no tolerance for racism, hatred, and violence. The lives of our black staff, the youth we provide services to, and the families we support matter. We are committed to being an organization that recognizes that it is not enough to simply not be racist but to be anti-racist.  The youth we serve depend on us to set this standard and to be a leader and example in our community.  #blacklivesmatter #BLM

 

 

 

Sarah Roethlinger

Executive Director of Youth Focus

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What is Juneteenth?

What is Juneteenth, and Why Should We Celebrate?

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.  The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day,” or “Emancipation Day.”

Some of us grew up aware of Juneteenth, and others have never heard of it. However you grew up Juneteenth is something we should all celebrate.

How Did Juneteenth Originate?

June 19, 1865, is a day that stands out in the history of the struggle for freedom in the United States. It was the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army traveled to Galveston, Texas, to read federal orders announcing that all previously enslaved persons in Texas were free and that the Civil War had ended.    The Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier.  Texas was the most remote of the slave states, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.

How is Juneteenth Celebrated?

Picnics, family reunions, music festivals, historical reenactments, beauty contests are some traditional Juneteenth celebrations that have been held across the country. Nearly every state now officially recognizes the holiday. In some celebrations, men and women who had been enslaved, and their descendants, made an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston.

Why Does Juneteenth Matter?

Recent events, like the tragic loss of George Floyd to police brutality, demonstrate that acceptance of the concept of freedom and respect for each individual regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation, hasn’t yet been instilled in every person. To educate those who still hold doubts about human rights, to prevent loss of the rights we have already achieved, we must celebrate holidays like Juneteenth.

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Parent Check-In – How to support yourself

Hey caregiver, yes you- whether you are a parent/caregiver by birth, adoption, marriage, foster care, kinship/guardianship, or work with children…stop just a moment.

Being a parent or caregiver is one of the most amazing and challenging roles a person can ever have…and some days, it can feel more challenging than amazing! 

It would be great if an infant could say, “Excuse me, but I have a gas bubble in my stomach, and my diaper is wet, can you please assist me, so I feel better”…but instead, they cry. An infant feels scared and overwhelmed without fully understanding what is happening. 

It is up to parents and guardians to figure out what their child needs (no pressure!). As our children get older, they learn how to communicate.  Sometimes they tell us what they need or what they think they need. But even older teens can have trouble communicating their thoughts and feelings, and often we end up only seeing (and focusing on) the behaviors instead of the emotions, needs, and goals behind the behaviors-which sometimes the child is not aware of either. 

“A misbehaving child is a discouraged child, ” Alfred Adler

If a parent is feeling discouraged, it is likely that their child has already been feeling discouraged.

It is important to know and remember that a child’s brain development plays a big part in understanding and processing their feelings and the world around them. The prefrontal cortex, which helps a person think through situations and choices, takes longer to develop (usually not until 24 to 26 years old!) than the emotional processing parts of the brain like the amygdala. Children are not ‘wired’ to know how to deal with big emotions…and childhood is full of lots of emotions! So a huge role caregivers can have with children is teaching and modeling positive ways to handle all kinds of emotions.

Remember, emotions don’t get anyone in trouble, but the choices we make when we feel strong emotions can. We don’t want to stop a child from feeling and acknowledging their emotions, but it is important to set boundaries to appropriate behaviors in response to those emotions. We can’t “control” our emotions, but we can choose how we think about a situation and what we do.

Showing empathy and understanding to our child can help them identify their own emotions, as well as identify and show empathy to the feelings and needs of others. BE PROACTIVE! The more we build our relationship with the child/children in our care, communicate about feelings, and have fun together, the more prepared we can be to deal with big emotions when they occur.

During this time, it is essential to think about the trigger we have as parents and those that are children may have to stressful situations. Talking through these are co-parents, or a family helps determine which actions are appropriate to express our feelings.

What are some triggers for parents during this time?

In addition to the regular stressors of providing care for the child/children you are raising, families are facing additional challenges during this time, including a global pandemic, shelter-in-place orders, online school, and lots of time together. Parents and caregivers are facing additional worries, like the possibility of getting sick or having someone we care about get sick, keeping our children safe while also helping to keep them entertained, balancing work (or unemployment) with family life and responsibilities, and being able to provide for our children. And all this is in addition to the ongoing triggers for parents, which can include our child’s behaviors and emotions, responsibilities of home and schoolwork, and family members getting along.

How can parents identify their triggers? Or triggers for their kids during stressful situations?

If during or after a situation, you find yourself feeling upset, stressed, discouraged, sad, frustrated, or angry…then something about that situation might be a trigger for you. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t something you can do about it! 

The more you know yourself and are aware of your thoughts and emotions, the better chance you have in recognizing what your triggers are.  And, the sooner you acknowledge your emotional state, the better you can do something proactive instead of reactive. 

For example, if you know you feel more stressed and short-tempered when you or your child gets hungry, you can try to be proactive and eat or pack a snack to help manage emotions and your responses to your child.  If you don’t like being stuck taking care of all the responsibilities (and feeling underappreciated or taken advantage of), then you can proactively involve family members in dividing up age-appropriate chores not only to more fairly share responsibilities, but to also help teach everyone about teamwork and life skills.    

The more you know your child, the better you are at recognizing their emotional state and potential triggers and helping them to be aware of their emotions and needs for themselves. 

“A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water,” Rudolf Dreikus.

Everyone needs encouragement, especially parents and caregivers. So ask yourself:

If you have trouble responding to either or both of those questions, it’s worth talking about and coming up with an encouragement plan!

What are some ways to decompress?

There are lots of great ways to decompress, and there are also some unhealthy ways people try to cope with stress. 

Some healthy ways are making time to do things that you enjoy, either alone or together with your children: like being outside, going for a walk, gardening, baking/cooking, listening to music, dancing, being creative (drawing, painting, building or making something), watching a movie or playing a game (I encourage you to think beyond video games too- lots of great card and board games, as well as outdoor activities). 

Unhealthy ways to cope with stress are anything that could put you or someone else at risk- it may seem like it is ‘helping’ in the moment, but it may have negative long-term risks.  And remember, often, the best form of teaching is through our actions.  If you are using an unhealthy coping style that you would not want your child to do (example- drinking, drugs, unhealthy eating), then it is worth exploring healthier options to deal with stress.

If you aren’t decompressing, managing your stress, and practicing self-care, then you are more likely to react negatively to your child. I often reflect on what lessons my children are learning from me even when I’m not actively trying to teach them something, and I am reminded of Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics in “Children Will Listen” from the musical Into the Woods

How can you support a friend or neighborhood parent feeling stressed?

You may have heard the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Still, sometimes parents and caregivers, especially single parents, can feel very alone in their role and responsibilities. Everyone needs a break to ‘recharge,’ but this can be challenging for single parents.

You are NOT ALONE! (Even when physically distant from others!)

Now, more than ever is a great time to check in with others about their stress level and how you could be of any help. Be a listening ear. Offer encouragement. Offer to pick up groceries. Make a meal to drop off. Use a phone or computer (video calls) to read a story to a child. And, when the shelter-in-place order is lifted- offer to watch a child for a parent to have a break.

Best mantra for a parent to remember during this time?

One of my favorite reminders as a parent to say to myself is, “Be Patient, Be Present!” and I will often say this in my head as I take a deep, calm breath before responding to my children. Notice, I again use the word “respond” instead of “react.” A response is intentional and thought out. A firefighter wouldn’t run up and throw gasoline on a fire they were trying to manage, but I have seen so many caregivers inadvertently escalate a child’s emotional state by reacting with big emotions of their own.

 I think it is essential for parents to remember and help their child understand, those big emotions, like storms, come and go, and we can be like meteorologists in predicting patterns and ‘taking shelter’ when necessary until things calm down. Safety and calming down should be the primary focus before being able to process with a child. 

A colleague of mine told parents to imagine their child has an “Under Construction” sign flashing over their head to remind parents that their child’s brain development was still very much under construction- not to be an excuse for behaviors or reactions, but to help keep perspective and remember parents’ roles to help teach and prepare their child.  “Breathe!  This is a teachable moment!”

“Don’t take it personally!”- I know this can feel SO HARD sometimes- but remember, kids, aren’t born knowing how to express emotions and communicate their needs in the best ways…they learn this; kids also test limits (kids will quickly discover if crying, screaming, or having a meltdown will result in getting them what they want).   

Self-care and getting extra help when needed

I was 19 the first time I was ever on a plane. During the preflight instructions, I remember the flight attendants holding up the oxygen masks to demonstrate how to put it on “in case of the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure.” And then the instruction, “secure your mask before helping others, including any children that may be traveling with you…”- I wasn’t a parent yet, but I remember this sounding bad. Why wouldn’t a parent make sure their child was taken care of first?  But if a parent doesn’t make sure their mask is secure, they could end up passing out before ever being able to help their child. 

Caregivers often feel it is “selfish” to take care of themselves, but if you don’t practice positive self-care, then how can you expect to fully be able to take care of your child…or recognize when more help is needed? 

Some people feel embarrassed or judged if they seek help- but we all have limits, and knowing that, and getting extra help, is very wise. You wouldn’t want to wait until your car ran out of gas to fill up, and you wouldn’t want to wait until the engine locked up before getting an oil change…and you don’t have to wait until there is a crisis to get extra mental health support as well!   

There are counseling resources for parents and children/teens. Youth Focus, part of Alexander Youth Network, can help!  

The core principals of parenting haven’t changed, but today’s world is different than the one you grew up in. Our children are facing different challenges than we did, and we need to adapt our parenting to best help and prepare them for growing up. 

If you haven’t been the type of caregiver you want to be for your child, ask for help. Consider counseling or attending a group, like the Strengthening Families Program.

Things can always be better…but we sometimes first have to learn new skills!  As Maya Angelou’s quote says, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better

Bonny Buckley, MA, LPCS, NCC, is a licensed Clinician at Youth Focus, Safe Haven program.

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Let’s talk about self-care! 

You may have heard this said many times before- “Perspective is everything.” This feels more relevant now during these unprecedented times than ever before to ensure self-care. None of us can effectively continue to pour into the cups of others if our cup has run dry. 

The truth is, self-care is essential for optimal wellness- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.   

Stress shows up in our physical bodies in many different ways. Maybe you’re struggling with consistent muscle tension, frequent headaches, digestive issues, insomnia. These are all signs of a body pleading to be nurtured and listened to. Are you feeling irritable and short-tempered and not sure why? Maybe you’re struggling to “turn off” your thoughts or having added fatigue and low energy. Consider some of these tools first to take the time to slow down and tap into your needs, and then learn ways to enhance overall wellness and mindset.  

Here are some ways to incorporate self-care into everyday life.

Gratitude Practice

We often keep track of what we don’t have more than what we do or focus on what feels wrong more than what feels right. A gratitude practice forces us to focus on more of the good in our lives, even sometimes during extreme challenges, grief, and pain. This takes intention but little time out of our daily lives with the possibility of significant impacts. It can help to make these thoughts of gratitude visual as a simple practice of self-care to enhance mood. 

A few options and tips: 

      • Set up a piece of paper and a couple of your favorite writing utensils in the middle of your kitchen table or typical place you consume meals. Write down a word or phrase of gratitude each day before a meal of your choice.  
      • Tape a large piece of craft paper to a door in your home. This can be especially fun for kids! Maybe you make a tradition of writing one word or phrase a day or once a week. Creating these visual reminders gently encourages a perspective shift every time they are seen. This could be a positive affirmation to yourself, a gentle word of encouragement to self, or someone or something else you’re thankful for.  
      • Set a journal or notepad by your bed or place of rest. Write down one small gratitude each morning right as you wake up or right before going to bed.  

Mindfulness

Our breath has the potential to empower and transform. Human beings take approximately 26,000 breaths per day. It is thought that if we breathed with more intention and awareness, we would get up to 99% of our energy from utilizing our breath alone. On average, people only access about 10-20% of that energy. Mindful breathing transforms our physical bodies- we know it lowers blood pressure and heart rate, but it also affects our brain’s emotional control center. Conscious breathing allows us to rid ourselves of thoughts of the past or worries of the future, bringing our focus to our body and breath in the present moment. Activities like meditation or yoga (synching the breath with movement) are powerful forms of self-care because they help to inhibit our brain’s natural “fight or flight” response.   Even taking 10-30 seconds of deep inhalations and exhalations can reduce our natural feelings of fear and anxiety about the “what ifs” that so easily intrude our thoughts.   

A few options and tips: 

      • Inhale positive/exhale negative. Try adding in a positive word on each inhale and exhale something you want to let go of, something that isn’t serving you. Some examples of this: inhale peace, exhale fear. Inhale confidence, exhale inadequacy. Inhale gratitude, exhale comparison. Inhale acceptance of the unknown right now, exhale the need to have control.  
      • Square Breathing/Box Breathing.  Picturing a box or a square as you count your breathing. Inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, hold/rest for 4, repeat.  
      • If you’re looking for daily meditation or mindfulness app try Insight Timer, Calm or Headspace. 

Follow along as Olivia guides you through the practice of self care.

Adding on a small self-care practice to an already existing routine makes this more accessible. For example, practice writing a thought of gratitude as you sit down to eat a meal. Practice mindful breathing while you are taking a shower or another activity you do each day. Consider putting on that “feel good” song you know improves your mood as you prepare food, wash dishes, or complete assignments. These small intentions can go a long way.  

Modeling self-care is the best thing we can do to teach children. Creating self-care practices and setting intentions as a family is a wonderful way to highlight the importance of these practices. When kids see their loved ones committed to a practice or lifestyle, it increases their own motivation and curiosity.  It is important children understand they are not alone in their difficult emotions and that it’s ok to feel sadness, anger, anxiety, and an array of complex emotions, but what matters is how we choose to respond.

Model to your kids how to respond to yourself with self-compassion- noticing and accepting where you are without judgment, taking a moment to reflect on your needs, and deciding what the “next best thing” is.  Consider reflecting on gratitude or practicing mindfulness/joyful movement together as a family.  

Take care of your self and others,

Olivia Wilson Smith is a Masters Level Clinical SocialWorker (LCSW-A) and Safe Haven Trauma Therapist for Youth Focus, a non-profit serving youth and families in Guilford County through supportive housing programs and counseling services. She also enjoys her “side-gig” as a Registered Yoga and Mindfulness Instructor (RYT-200) and desires to continue growing in her knowledge of holistic approaches to wellness and the intersection of physical and mental health. When given the opportunity you can often find her anywhere between the NC Western mountains and Eastern beaches adventuring outdoors, cheering on the Tar-Heels at sporting events and spending quality time with her family and her husband, their kitties, and the company of their circles of friends in Greensboro, NC.

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Look for the Safe Place Sign

Homepage-smiling-girl

Look for the Safe Place Sign

Do you feel lost and alone?  Do you feel like you have nowhere to go and nobody to turn to?  Is there an immediate physical or emotional threat?  At Youth Focus, we are here for you.  We can provide a SAFE PLACE to get you out of harm’s way, find shelter, get support, and assess your situation.  We want to help!

What is Safe Place?

Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program that provides youth immediate help and safety.  Some locations include fire departments, libraries, YMCAs, and other businesses.  Safe Place locations are all marked with a vibrant yellow and black sign to indicate participation.

How Does Safe Place Work?

  1. If a youth is experiencing a crisis, they can locate a safe place participant, knock on the door, and tell an adult they need help.
  2. When the youth is inside and safe, the adult will call the designated Youth Focus staff member.
  3. The staff member will arrive to talk to the youth and transport them to the agency.
  4. Counselors will meet with the youth to provide support and determine the best course of action.

Once a youth has been brought to our agency and talked with a counselor, Youth Focus offers a number of other services, some covered by insurance and some free. 

Emergency Shelter

Through the Act Together housing facility, we provide emergency shelter for runaways, victims of abuse, or those in a family crisis.

Outpatient Counseling

Free counseling is provided by Safe Haven for youth ages 6 to 24 who have been victims of crimes such as assault, rape, bullying, and neglect.

Maternity Housing

My Sister Susan’s House provides transitional housing to pregnant and parenting youth ages 16-21 who are experiencing homelessness.

Transitional Housing

Youth Focus offers transitional living through HEARTH for young adults ages 18-21 experiencing homelessness who need to gain more independent living skills.

Rapid Rehousing

Rapid Rehousing is a program that provides rent assistance to homeless young adults ages 18-24.  While in the program, they will learn skills to help them gain independence, increase responsibility, and learn to manage rent on their own. 

How Can You Help?

Youth Focus is a proud participant in Safe Place.  We strive to provide hope, security, and safety to abused, neglected, homeless, and struggling youth in our community.  According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, in 2019 North Carolina had 3,181 unaccompanied homeless students.  We encourage others in and around Guilford County to consider becoming a Safe Place to empower our youth and to help battle youth homelessness.  

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Tidying for Your Mental Health

 

Tidying is all the rage right now.  If you haven’t seen the series on Netflix or read the book, Marie Kondo is a Japanese consultant who helps people tidy their homes by reorganizing and only keeping things that “spark joy.”  In the KonMari method, there is an order to the tidying process, and it’s essential to being successful in tidying. After watching the series, I began thinking about ways to tidy up our lives to increase self-care and improve mental health.

Relationships: Think about the people you spend the most time with.  Are they making your life better or worse? Are they making you a better person?  I know as a working mom with two young children, there isn’t much time to spend with friends and extended family.  I want to be sure I’m investing in relationships that matter, make me better, are supportive, healthy, and fun and, of course, spark joy in my life.  There will be times when relationships are harder to maintain but when thinking about whether to continue the relationship, ask yourself these questions: Are you the one always responding to the person’s needs? Does this person give back to your life in any way? If they don’t, what purpose do they fill? Life is too short to keep investing in relationships that constantly drain you. Once you surround yourself with people you love and who love you, there’s less drama, stress and you’ll feel better. As parents, mentors, and professionals, we’re modeling behaviors for our children and the youth we serve. What are your relationships teaching them?

Commitments: The next items to examine are time commitments. Now, I want you to put all of your commitments in one big pile and go through each one, hold it close to you, feel it, think about it and if there is no joy or a purpose … GET RID OF IT.  The Shinto roots of the KonMarie method is a way to treasure what you have and treat your things as valuables opposed to disposable objects. Think about your commitments in this way.  Do you cherish them and are they valuable to your life?  I’m a people pleaser by nature, and one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn in life is just to say no.  I can’t be everything to everyone, be all the places and do all the things.  It’s just not right for me, and I would bet, it’s not beneficial to you either.  We’ll run ourselves ragged, damaging our mental health, if we don’t learn how to limit our commitments and be okay with saying no. But, let me tell you; it feels good.  Try it. No. See, I told you!  Now, if it sparks joy for you to run your kids to extracurricular activities every day, show up to every social justice rally, always be on the go, never a moment to breathe or think, by all means, do that.  But I would bet that you’re tired, you’re worn out, and you want to sit on the couch, watch TV and eat the whole box of Girl Scout cookies because you have nothing left to give.  Take the time to think about what matters in the big picture.  Are your commitments a reflection of the things that matter to you and your family? Would you be happier and healthier if you committed to less?  There’s not a gracious Target 90-day return policy on your time; once it’s given, it’s gone. 

Just For You: If you are like me, you realize that every year seems to go by faster and all the things we wished we done the year before, we didn’t do.  What are you doing in your life that’s just for you? I know, believe me, I know, it’s so hard to make that time to give to only ourselves with the demands of our jobs, families, and communities.  But now that you’ve purged some time gobblers that weren’t sparking joy for you, you can do some of the things that you love. We often justify time and resources spent giving and providing for others, but not for ourselves because we don’t want to seem selfish. I’m giving you permission to let go of that mentality because it’s self-care and not an act of selfishness. And don’t let the Judgey McJudgersons tell you any different. When you can care for yourself by doing things you love, I promise that it won’t just spark joy, but you’ll feel a fire full of joy. Wherever your passion lies, whether it’s volunteering, finishing that creative art or home project, traveling, cooking, writing a book/blog, training to be a bodybuilder, do it.  Schedule it just like you do everything in your life.  Your spouse, partner, kids, and coworkers will especially thank you when you are smiling more and enjoying life and may even wonder what’s in your coffee.

This list only scratches the surface when it comes to self-care and mental health, but I hope it leads to some healthy habits for you in 2019. And of course, Marie Kondo says it’s important to thank the things we get rid of. So as you purge some of the unhealthy relationships, time commitments, and habits from your life, take the time to appreciate what those things gave or taught you, mindfully thank them and let go.

 


Sarah Roethlinger

Sarah Roethlinger

Sarah Roethlinger is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and Supportive Housing Program Director for Youth Focus, a nonprofit in Guilford County North Carolina. Sarah supervises several programs that serve youth experiencing homelessness including Act Together and My Sister Susan’s House.  She’s a mom of two children, enjoys trying different pesco-vegetarian cuisines with her husband, and she never leaves the house without a reusable straw. 

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Volunteer Opportunities: Fall and Winter 2018

It takes a village, and Youth Focus is appreciative of any and all community support. Individuals, groups and corporations are all equally appreciated and needed volunteers.  Volunteer opportunities vary based on our need, and your availability and unique skill set.  We are always in need of extra hands with open hearts.

Here is a list of our current, and most needed, Volunteer opportunities

STYLISTS and BARBERS needed!  We have a need for stylists who are willing to provide barber and hair-cutting services.  Please email us if you’re able to help.  

ARTISTS needed!  If you have the time and talent, we would love a new mural for ACT Together, our emergency housing facility for teens.  Help us create a positive and vibrant atmosphere by sharing your talents.  Email us to help!

Decorators and shoppers needed!  Our new TLP apartments need to be furnished for their new residents! Read more about this fantastic new program here, and email us to volunteer.

Party people! Our Supportive Housing Programs will be hosting a holiday party for residents.  We’re looking for volunteers to help on the night of November 30th.   Email us!

 

 


We also have a specific need for the following donations.

Adolescent Substance Use Program

  • Towels
  • Men’s clothing
  • Men’s hygiene products (deodorant, body wash, shampoo)
  • PlayStation 3 games
  • Board games
  • Workout equipment (free weights & any other gym equipment)
  • Dining room table and chairs set 
  • Men’s bicycles

Please email Rachael Landau to coordinate drop off at rlandau@youthfocus.org

ACT Together Emergency Shelter

  • Towels and washcloths
  • Small incentive items like bath & body products, makeup, lip gloss, chapstick, water bottles, full sized candy, gel pens, wired headphones, playing cards, etc.
  • Gift cards we can use to incentivize good behavior.  Favorites include Target, Walmart, Cookout and McDonalds.

ACT Together donations can be dropped off at 1601 Huffine Mill Road, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm. Please ensure all donations are labeled to indicate it is for ACT Together, multiple programs are housed at this location.

 Residential Treatment Facility

  • MP3 players, iPods, etc.  The Residential Treatment program is a secure, locked facility where youth can safely receive treatment.  Youth often use music as a coping skill, especially being in a locked facility and having minimal other options some days. 
  • Blankets and twin sheets.  As temperatures drop, blankets are a needed.
  • Hygiene supplies: shampoo, deodorant, conditioner, soap  

Residential Treatment donations can be dropped off at 1601 Huffine Mill Road, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm. Please ensure all donations are labeled to indicate it is for the Residential Treatment center, multiple programs are housed at this location.

My Sister Susan’s House, Maternity and Young Mother’s Housing

  • Diapers size 1 and 4, wipes
  • Incentive items like gift cards to Target, Walmart, Rainbow (clothes store) and  Plato’s closet.

Donations can be dropped off at our administrative office, 405 Parkway A, Monday through Thursday from 8am to 7pm.  Please label your donation for My Sister Susan’s House.

Transitional Living Program

  • Household decor and items to furnish our youth’s new apartments
  • Incentive items, like gift cards to Target, Walmart, Cookout, McDonalds, KFC, Chic-fil-A
  • A bookshelf, any size, to help us organize.

Donations can be dropped off at our administrative office, 405 Parkway A, Monday through Thursday from 8am to 7pm.  Please label your donation for TLP.

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Given the current state and local guidelines for COVID-19, Youth Focus has temporarily suspended all on-site visitors and volunteers. This does NOT include clients or those accompanying clients to appointments. Those coming on-site will be asked to wear a mask for the duration of the appointment and limit the number of accompanying guests. Thank you for your understanding and commitment to the safety of our youth and staff.
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