Haunting & Helping

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Haunting & Helping: Outreach Event for Youth up to age 24 Experiencing Homelessness, Free COVID Testing for At-Risk Youth

TL; DR Youth Focus participates in Haunting & Helping, an outreach event on October 30, 2020, for teens and young adults up to age 24 experiencing homelessness.  Staff and volunteers will be in Halloween costumes, visible and searching for local youth who are couch surfing or sleeping outside and need safe housing. The event’s goal is to match youth with supportive services to find them safe and warm housing before winter.  

In addition to matching youth with local supportive services, at the Greensboro event Cone Health will be offering these youth COVID testing.

Staff and volunteers will be in costume and prepared with candy and hygiene goodie bags to spread the Halloween spirit in a COVID-safe way for at-risk local youth.

WHAT: Haunting & Helping: Outreach Event for Youth and young adults Experiencing Homelessness to get them housing before winter. Offering COVID testing to at-risk youth.

WHO: Homeless and at-risk youth (age 11-24) in Guilford County

WHERE: Outside Center City Park in Greensboro and at Open Door Ministries in High Point

WHEN: October 30, 2020, 2:00-4:00 pm

Our Executive Director and Program Managers are available for Skype, video, and socially distanced outdoor interviews.


Youth Focus, a Greensboro based non-profit dedicated to helping local youth.  Haunting & Helping is a partnership between local organizations, including the Greensboro Police Department, Guilford County Schools, Family Services of the Piedmont, World Relief, The Interactive Resource Center, Partners Ending Homelessness, Open Door Ministries, Guilford County Health Department, and The Guilford County Continuum of Care.

Youth Focus operates Act Together, Guilford County’s only teen-only emergency housing facility, and Safe Place, a national network of businesses and community locations where at-risk youth can go to be connected to supportive services. Youth Focus operates HEARTH Beyond, a rapid rehousing program that provides rental assistance and case management to youth 18-24.

It is estimated that more than one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts, and other issues. The Safe Place program and Act Together is one of the only options for local youth who feel they have nowhere to turn.  In the past twelve months, The Safe Place program and Act Together helped more than 170 youth.   The demand for these programs has skyrocketed due to COVID quarantines and stress.

“These are local youth, youth up to age 24, with nowhere else to go.   Haunting & Helping is designed to be a fun outreach initiative to safely and effectively reach these at-risk youth.  Between Youth Focus and our event partners, we feel confident we can match teens and young adults to the supportive services they need,” said Sarah Roethlinger, Executive Director of Youth Focus.

About Youth Focus

Youth Focus, Inc. is a non-profit agency dedicated to helping Guilford County youth and their families learn to deal with today’s pressures. A powerful collaboration of medical professionals, therapists, administrators, and volunteers, Youth Focus, offers supportive services and housing for youth experiencing homelessness, counseling, emergency housing, and educational groups, all services available free of charge.

About Safe Place

The Safe Place program operated locally by Youth Focus partners with businesses and community organizations to provide immediate safety and support for local youth. Local Safe Place locations include fire departments, YMCAs, libraries, government buildings, and community businesses like Proehlific Park, UNCG, Friendly Center, Four Seasons Town Center, and the Greensboro Sportsplex.

About HEARTH Beyond

This program ensures youth ages 18-24 who are experiencing homelessness have a safe place to live while focusing on achieving their educational and professional goals. Youth Focus works with area landlords to find safe, affordable housing for the youth with a lease in the youth’s name to help youth establish a rental history and remain in their home after completing the program. Youth Focus provides rent assistance with the goal of the youth taking increasing responsibility until they can sustain the rent independently. While enrolled, these young adults will receive vocational and educational supports and targeted case management to help build independent living skills, so they can ensure long-term success after graduating from the program.

About Act Together

Act Together is an emergency housing facility for male, female and gender-nonconforming youth who have run away, are experiencing a family crisis, are the victims of abuse or neglect, or are homeless for other reasons. While at Act Together, youth receive shelter and medical, psychological, and educational support in a home-like environment. The children attend public school, most often the school they were currently attending, and participate in a wide variety of recreational, cultural, and social activities.

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