ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project _________________ a community-based 501(C)(3) organization delivering services to children and families in Central Brooklyn since 1998 submits the following proposal to Advocates for Youth, Youth of Color Initiative for consideration . ________ is requesting $______ to assist our Runaway and Homeless HealthCare Support Project, and to enhance our Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) program to provide special emphasis on adolescent girls who are homeless.
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Our mission is to empower individuals, promote self-sufficiency, and create a sense of community. We accomplish this through programs focused on educational advancement, economic empowerment, and neighborhood development. Our programs build greater access to health education and resources, help people find jobs, and support our community’s young people with programs that promote educational, recreational, and socialization skills. _______________ principally serves the Central Brooklyn communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ft.
Greene, Clinton Hill, Bushwick and Brownsville, though we were recently selected to provide after-school services to high schools in the Bronx and we manage a Citywide Day Care network. We work within a network of five satellite offices and partner with schools, government agencies, and other community-based organizations to deliver life sustaining services. To date, BBCC has provided programs and services to over 12,000 community residents. The majority of our clients are low-income, people of color. Their ethnic composition reflects the communities that we serve with 55% African-American, 30% Hispanic, 10% White, and 5% Asian and others.
Over 40% collect some form of public assistance, and almost 50% of children under 17 live below the poverty level. These communities represent the largest share of the city’s minority population under 18 years of age (34%), the largest proportion of immigrant youth (33%), and the largest number of public school students (349,222). The project for which funding is being requested will provide direct, comprehensive services to runaway or homeless adolescent boys and girls from the low-income neighborhoods of Central Brooklyn, New York,.
The Project will enable these vulnerable youth to receive healthcare support and counseling while efforts are made to resolve their difficulties. The Project also specifically works with girls to reduce the risks of becoming pregnant or exposed to HIV/AIDS as a result of their homelessness, and to help provide care for teenage girls who become pregnant. _______________ has a history of working with this population. _______________ currently works with these youth under a contract from the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development to provide Brooklyn’s first Drop-IN Center for Runaway and Homeless Youth.
The purpose of this request is to supplement the services allocated under the contract by adding the components of this health care access project. ANDRE LEWIS 1/8 ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project In 2003, _______________ inaugurated its Prevention Support Center to provide our clients with age, gender and lifestyle appropriate information on HIV/AIDS.
The Prevention Support Center includes Youth Voice, which offers a ten-week training session to educate and counsel youth of color and LGBTQ teens, from the ages of 15 to 22 about HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention; the Peer Educators Program offers training to high school age men and women to become advocates among their peer groups to convince other young people to avoid the risk factors that contribute to HIV and AIDS; and Youth Outreach that utilizes the trained Peer Educators to conduct outreach efforts at schools, youth programs and other venues where young people gather.
In 2005, the PSC was expanded to include teenage pregnancy prevention, using the same model that has proven successful for the HIV program. The strength of the program has been the use of peer counselors to dispense information, provide referrals and resources, and offer opportunities for these youth to come together to talk about their issues and concerns. “The logic behind peer education makes sense: if peers listen so much to one another, why not make the content of what they hear from each other as accurate and helpful as possible. 1 “Many youth who become sexually active do so without accurate information about reproductive health. This lack of information can put them at risk of unplanned pregnancy2. “Several studies have shown that sex education can help delay first intercourse for adolescents who are not sexually active. The most effective sexual health programs are those that include more than information on reproductive health. Our peer programs help youth to enhance communication and negotiation skills, clarify their values, and change risky behaviors. 3 In New York City, most school-based sex education classes have been eliminated.
A 2003 NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey demonstrated that before turning 13 years old, 31% of high school students had tried at least 1 alcoholic drink, 13% had smoked a cigarette, and 7% had used marijuana. The study reported 35% of high school students drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and that one in ten high school students report had sex before the age of 13. 48% of all NYC public high school students reported having had sex. 17% of high school students reported having had 4 or more sex partners, and 25% of sexually active high school students did not use a condom during last sex.
The study also found that Black and Hispanic students were more likely 1 http://www. etr. org/recapp/theories/peereducation/index. htm 2 Family Health International; Network: Spring 1997, Vol. 17, No. 3 Education Protects Health, Delays Sex, www. fhi. org/en/RH/Pubs/Network/v17_3/nt1734. htm, Retrieved December 23, 2004. Family Health International; Network: Spring 1997, Vol. 17, No. 3 Education Protects Health, Delays Sex, www. fhi. org/en/RH/Pubs/Network/v17_3/nt1734. htm, Retrieved December 23, 2004. 3 ANDRE LEWIS 2/8
ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project than Whites and Asians to report having had 4 or more partners, and were also more likely to have been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant4. In a report released by the NYC Department of Health, Black Non-Hispanic women ages 15-19 accounted for 5,136 teen pregnancies, which represented 57. 4% of the Brooklyn’s total teen pregnancies and 44. 7% of the NYC total. Further data indicated that 43% had a previous pregnancy and 96. % were not married. 5 Adolescent girls also face growing risks of exposure to HIV and AIDS as a result of their homelessness. These neighborhoods have three times the rate of new HIV and AIDS case than other Brooklyn neighborhoods, and the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the City. Adolescent boys also confront unique health access issues. According to a Commonwealth Fund study, boys, by high school years, suffer from abuse and associated mental health problems, risky behaviors, and eating disorders yet do not access health care.
One in Four adolescent African American boys said they do not have access to care, compared to just 17% for white boys, and most cite not wanting parents to know as the primary reason. It is often another factor as to why some of these troubled youth leave home. Central Brooklyn, specifically Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights, is considered to be the epicenter for HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brooklyn. In 2004, Bed-Stuy/Crown Heights, as they are grouped together, had 531 newly diagnosed HIV cases and 355 AIDS cases. Incidents of HIV/AIDS among women is also on the rise.
Over 40% of new AIDS or HIV cases are women, and in the Central Brooklyn neighborhoods, nearly 45% of new cases involve women. Many have become infected as a result of Intravenous Drug Use and from heterosexual sex with male partners. There are no official estimates as to the number of homeless adolescents who are HIV or AIDS positive, but the combination of forced sexual activity, “survival” sex and the prevalence of drug use, makes it likely that many homeless girls either have been or are at high risk of becoming infected.
Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project This request seeks to expand current programs by focusing on Homeless and Runaway adolescent girls and boys who need direct access to health care services on-site, with the assistance of our Community Health Partner, Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center. At the core of the program is our Drop-In Center for Runaway and Homeless youth that functions as both a crisis center and a location for individual and group counseling.
The Drop-In Center is a safe space with an effective, integrated program that serves the needs of homeless and runaway adolescent youth. 4 2003 NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a self-administered, anonymous survey of nearly 7400 New York City public high school students. The NYC Departments of Education and Health and Mental Hygiene conducted the survey during the Spring of 2003. http://www. nyc. gov/html/doh/pdf/survey/survey-2003high. pdf 5 Teen Pregnancy in New York City: Report: December 2002 http://www. nyc. ov/html/doh/pdf/fhs/tpreport. pdf ANDRE LEWIS 3/8 ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project This program will provide access to health care for at least 600 runaway and homeless adolescents, with a minimum of 400 adolescent girls. The teens will range from 13 to 19 who are predominately African-American, Latina and immigrants, including Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender girls. The issues of runaway and homeless youth are myriad and complex.
Abuse, neglect, and family instability often affect a young person’s ability to develop support networks and trust that is necessary for transition to adulthood, and often lead to circumstances in which the child believes there are no other choices but to run away from home. Runaway youth are often forced to contend with violence, sexual abuse and prejudice, and are frequently compelled to trade sexual activity for temporary places to live. Youth who are homeless have higher rates of illness and chronic diseases than the general population.
The conditions of homelessness including nutritional deficiencies, exposure to the elements and extreme weather, and other lifestyle factors, can exacerbate or cause chronic health problems. According to a study by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than two-thirds of those who were homeless suffered from a chronic illness and nearly a quarter indicated they needed to see a doctor in the last year but were unable to do so _______________ Drop-In Crisis Center model offers a holistic approach to addressing the challenges faced by runaway and homeless youth.
The program includes a complement of services and staff provided onsite at the Drop-In Center and through a service network that will cater to the youth’s housing, education, vocational and other needs. Recognizing the importance of creating a safe, comfortable and engaging space for the youth, _______________ has developed a community club-house model where participants help to maintain the environment and have input into the services provided. Funding for this Project will enable us to offer direct access to health care in a community setting with medical staff who have been trained to work with at-risk children.
The RHY Drop-In Center is located at _______________ , Brooklyn, NY 11238, in the heart of Central Brooklyn, an area that includes almost 50,000 children and where poverty, inadequate housing, crime and homelessness are extensive. The Center features a kitchen area, clean-up facility and bathrooms, and an area to rest. An area designed exclusively for girls and young women has been created to provide a Safe Haven where they can relate to each other and to the staff who have been trained in working with at-risk youth.
An additional space to serve the needs of LGBT teenagers has also been created. Services will be provided seven days a week with flexible hours to cover all times of the day to accommodate this very transient population. The site has been secured and outfitted with security cameras and other devices to safeguard the children who attend the Center. ANDRE LEWIS 4/8 ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project _______________ will conduct outreach in known areas where these young RHYs frequent.
Community Connections Coordinators will lead street outreach at many of the gathering spots where homeless youth might be located. We will accomplish our recruitment goals by relying on the strong community outreach that we have generated in the past. We will target homeless teens in malls, parks, playgrounds, community centers, transit hubs and the boardwalks in Coney Island. We will also be working in other parts of the City where adolescent boys and girls meet up. RHY adolescents will be encouraged to visit the Drop-In Center to receive services to help them work out their problems.
When they visit the Center they will receive meals, emergency provisions and an opportunity to rest and relax. They will be encouraged to meet with our community counselors to access the services they need. Under this Project, we will be able to secure the services of medical practitioners from our health care partner, Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, located just three blocks from the Drop-In Center, to conduct medical examinations on our site and to make other health care referrals as necessary. Among the services to be available will be free pregnancy tests for girls and HIV/AIDS/STD tests for both girls and boys.
Specific Services to Be Provided The Project will be complemented by an advocacy program to influence girls and boys to avoid the risks of sexual activity. They include: • Peer Education – This program will train young people to take an active role in addressing the health issues impacting them and their community. The primary activities for adolescent Peer Educators are to reduce the chances of producing unintended pregnancies and for acquiring or transmitting HIV/STIs and other conditions that threaten their health and safety.
The program incorporates lessons learned and best practices of science/evidence-based behavioral change models led by former Peer Educators. Teen Talk – This collaborative school and community based sex and contraception education intervention for teens between the ages of 13 and 19 offers small group discussions about pregnancy prevention programs covering reproductive physiology, contraception methods and effectiveness, and to provide a venue for frank discussions in the vernacular of teenagers to address issues of peer pressure, avoidance of perilous behaviors and personal responsibility. The Girls’ Support Project will include: ANDRE LEWIS 5/8 ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project Family Planning Intervention – This provides teenagers with family planning services to increase teens’ sense of comfort, increase their self-confidence, and reduce any fears that may discourage regular and effective contraception. Teens will be referred to our health services partner, Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, for contraceptive counseling and prescriptions.
Free Pregnancy Screenings – Through our partnership with Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, teenage girls from the area will be able to receive free pregnancy screenings at their facility on Fulton Street. Brooklyn Plaza’s Women’s Health Program also provides obstetric and gynecological services for teenage girls. Health Care Program for First-Time Adolescent Mothers and their Infants – This approach aims to help first-time mothers prevent repeat pregnancies, return to school, improve immunization rates for their infants, and reduce their use of hospital emergency room services for routine infant care. • • For homeless teenage boys, who face issues of depression, physical abuse and substance abuse as well as HIV and AIDS and teenage fatherhood, our program will offer reproductive and sexual health workshops, community service learning opportunities, male? to? male mentoring, nurturing seminars for fathers of adolescent boys and teen fathers, and training? of? trainer workshops for parents, caregivers and community members that support the growth and development of adolescent boys.
Our strategy is to create an environment in which adolescent boys thrive and reduce their risk for a host of social problems such alcohol and drug addiction, premarital sex, unprotected sex, and street violence through their contact with our program. Goals and Objectives The long term objective of _______________ ’s programs for runaway and homeless youth is to achieve a stable life style for the individual.
This may mean reunification with the individual’s family, but also includes obtaining housing and other critical needs to support the youth if a return home is impractical. Specifically for this Adolescent Health Care Project, _______________ intends to address the following project goals: • To reduce sexual activity and the number of unintended pregnancies among adolescents through intervention and prevention services for teenage girls and boys and their partners. Our goal is to achieve 50% reduction in the number of adolescents who engage in sexual activity. ANDRE LEWIS 6/8
ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project To avoid high-risk behaviors such as alcohol and other substance abuse which contribute to pregnancy, violence and HIV infection. Our goal is to achieve a 75% reduction in atrisk activities of drug and alcohol abuse, violence and unsafe sexual practices. To decrease the incidence of subsequent unintended pregnancies and support teens in continuing their education, maintaining a stable home, and leading a productive life.
Our goal is to achieve a reduction by 90% of subsequent teenage pregnancies. To work with pregnant and parenting teens to ensure that they receive the support and services they need to develop healthy babies and themselves. Our goal is to obtain 100% attainment of RHY girls to receive pre-natal and pregnancy services should they become or who are already homeless and pregnant. • • • As a result of the contract with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, elements of the RHY program are already in place and operational.
These additional resources to provide dedicated health care services will enable us to expand the scope of our program. We are already working with the targeted population, and therefore no additional time would be needed to develop and implement this aspect of our program. Staff Training BBCC forsees the need for additional staff training needs that will include ? understanding of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements ? guidance in adolescent health care ? conducting initial health care assessments ? maintenance of medical records.
Organizational Structure The Seven-member Board of Directors reflects the diversity of our communities and the population served under this project. Policy direction, along with day-to-day management of all programming is the responsibility of Andre Lewis, Executive Director. The Director of Youth and Family Services, _______________ , MSW, a licensed social worker and attorney who specializes in family and group intervention provides leadership and oversight of this project. With an annual operating budget of $3. 9 million, _______________ has the organizational capacity to efficiently manage the proposed project. ______________ , Director of Operations, supervises all fiscal and accounting systems that conform to federal and state accounting standards. The organization’s operating budget derives from contracts, grants, program fees and donations from individuals and businesses of good will in the community. The CPA firm, _______________ , prepares an annual audit. _______________ is committed to achieving continuous quality improvement to identify and evaluate our programs, and implement revisions and solutions where necessary. ANDRE LEWIS 7/8
ANDY LEWIS WRITING SAMPLE- CONFIDENTAL DOCUMENT Advocates for Youth Youth of Color Initiative Runaway and Homeless Adolescent HealthCare Project _______________ is requesting $_______________ from Advocates for Youth and the Youth of Color Initiative. The total project budget is approximately $125,000. Full funding for the project is expected to be achieved through a variety of foundation and government awards. Proposals have been submitted to the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, United Methodist Church – Women’s Program, and the New York Foundation, and portions of the funding from our