Boston, MA: Turning An Aberration Of Our Ignored Youth Into Success

Rediscovery youth organization and their YouthHarbors program in Boston, MA. Kicking hindparts and taking names. Getting it done. All for homeless youth. 

Now when I original saw the article, of course, I thought, Boston is a hot mess. Can't get anything right. Let alone demonstrate success in housing & educating homeless youth.

Boy was I wrong on that one. 

YouthHarbors program piloted in 2009 in Malden High School. Setting up shop inside of a high school created a partnership with the educational entity where most, if not all, of their target population would be identified. 

And it pooled together their individual resources which leveraged both organizations' activities for maximum effectiveness. No bickering over revenue streams. Market share. Duplication of services. Building space. Funding. 

And every other business trigger word that immediately throws up excuses & barriers to organizational collaboration and community success by administrators whose approaches are an evidence-based failure. 

And YouthHarbor is pulling it off. Do I have specifics? Yes, I have specifics...

1. In their 1st year, 96% of the students were housed at the end of the year, and 96% had either graduated or were on track to graduate.

2. In their second year, 89% of the students were housed, and 100% had either graduated or were on track to graduate.

3. In their third year, 92% of their students were housed, and 96% had either graduated or were on track to graduate.

4. In 2013, 97% of their students were housed, and 96% either graduated or are on track to graduate.

Only 27% of kids in their same situation across the country graduate without the necessary solutions.

"YouthHarbors is also a program funded solely through individual, foundation, and corporate donations."

Why? 

"It fills a need that is ignored by all state and federal monies and by most philanthropic efforts."

Their words in quotes, not mine. But I definitely agree.

These young adults are too old for child services. Adult shelters expose them to a world that is completely developmentally inappropriate and dangerous for them.

So how does all of this relate to you? Well guess wth what?

The 51 students who have graduated with help from the YouthHarbors program equals each year:

1. Doubles the number of tax dollars contributed by each graduate; higher paying income equals higher FICA theft;

2. A simultaneous lowering of federal and state funding dollars that would otherwise have been spent on precipitous failing programs and blasphemous performing agencies/organizations;

3. Saves the national economy $76,857 in food stamps, prison jumpsuits and other needless public expenses related to abominable performances of our agencies/organizations in their atrocious pursuit of trying to educate youth leaving foster care;

4. Contributes $256,173 to the national economy (in addition to savings)

Total yearly national savings: $333,030 ($6,530 per graduate)

And you still actually believe that this nationwide problem of not ending homelessness for youth leaving foster care is just my stupid personal way of being a constant irritant in your backside. 

Not that its a very real, very stupid, and very applicable issue. Not just for the social service industry, but to us as a nation. 

No, it couldn't possibly be that. 

These blood pressure-lowering rants are a reflection of my insulted intelligence. The stupid narratives that permeate every informational outlet telling us that we can't really end homelessness for these youth leaving foster care. It just can't be done. 

We need more studies. We need more information. We need more money. We need more councils. We need more public hearings. We need, we need, we need. 

You need a foot-to-hindpart meeting is what you need. You would act right then. Billions and millions of federal & state taxpayer dollars being shoveled into failing practices and approaches. Your hard-earned money. 

All the while, a community organization like YouthHarbor silenced all that noise. And just got it done. They just did it their own way. Common sense approaches. Individuals, the community and businesses. Coming together to get it done. 

Put an office right smack inside the school. 1 year later and slapped some degrees in these youths' hands. Got it done.

And their parent organization, Rediscovery, is cranking out a relatively successful foster care situation for these kids before they turn 18 yrs old. 

Yeah, I said it. Successful foster care. An oxymoron. 

Do I have specifics? Yes, I have specifics...

1. 97% of Rediscovery youth are in permanent housing after leaving their foster care program. As compared to the despicable 33% average nationally of those leaving foster care.

2. 94% of their alumni have a checking account and 92% have a savings account; both key building blocks for financial success. 

You can't get some of those percentages around your own dinner table at Thanksgiving. Let alone a former foster care/homeless youth population.

And one of my personal favorites...

3. Only 20% of Rediscovery's alumni currently require government assistance compared with the 32-40% nationally. An organizational intent. A stated goal & outcome. 

Purposely pursued in all organizational activities to promote actual self-sufficiency. Real self-reliance. True independence. 

Not marrying themselves to government entitlement programs that are only designed to be used to alleviate temporary physical, economical and social problems. 

Not to be used to live out some weird, unhealthy, co-dependent relationship with government agencies & organizations. Who probably couldn't even respect personal boundaries in an elevator. Let alone their life. 

But standing on their own two feet which is an invaluable life skill when becoming an adult. 

So there you have it folks. Boston getting it done with the YouthHarbors organization. 

But the Boston Celtics basketball team stinks. Just like my Orlando Magic organization. Talk about these dudes. The Orlando Magic organization is a walking piece of a basketball atrocity. They are horrible. Can't hire a decent coach. Keep valuable players. Stinking up the joint with their...

I digress.

But Boston getting it done with these former homeless & uneducated youth. Keep it up.

Next feedback rant victims: Twitter and McDonald's. Two modern-day businesses who very well may have become the first two organizations to encapsulate stupid.   

Happy Hump Day Eve!! : )