Mission: The mission of At The Crossroads is to reach out to homeless youth and young adults at their point of need, and work with them to build healthy and fulfilling lives. Our innovative model focuses on young people who do not access traditional services and are disconnected from any type of consistent support. We remove common barriers to service by bringing our counselors onto the streets, and shaping our support services around the needs of each individual client.
Results: ATC has reached 5,200 young people, and has worked one-on-one with 975 youth in intensive counseling relationships.
Target demographics: * Almost all of our clients (98%) live in poverty
* 77% are unemployed
* 12% are immigrants, and 5% are monolingual Spanish speakers
* 51% African-American
* 21% white
* 18% Latino
* 10% other ethnic and racial categories
About 66% of our clients are male, 33% female, and 1% transgender
Geographic areas served: San Francisco
Programs: At the crossroads's (atc) work has four basic components:1) nighttime street outreach, where we meet clients' basic needs by distributing supplies, and develop counseling relationships that will lead to them moving forward in their lives. 2) one-to-one counseling, which empowers clients to identify and achieve goals, helping them move beyond the streets once and for all. 3) collaboration, which allows our clients to successfully access services that can address their diverse needs, and provides support to those agencies that work with our clients. 4) community education, which works to ensure that there is a continuum of care that meets the needs of all disconnected youth in san francisco and beyond.
the youth that atc works with are disconnected from people and organizations that can help them lead healthier lives. They do not have consistent contact with people or services which might help them think about their lives, create realistic plans to meet their goals, or connect them with the resources necessary to follow through on their plans. They do not access traditional services, and consequently are completely isolated on the streets. Atc sees 1,000 unduplicated youth on the streets each year during nighttime outreach and 275 a year in our daytime counseling.
atc is on the streets three nights a week in each of two neighborhoods in san francisco, the mission and downtown/tenderloin. We are out from approximately 7:30-11 pm, walking the streets. We offer our daytime one-to-one counseling meetings five days a week, between 10 am and 8 pm. We will work with the same individual client up to four times a week. We work with clients for as long as they want, until they hit their mid-thirties. We continue to work with our clients after they get off the street. There are more than 50 clients who we have been working with for the past 10 years; the majority has moved beyond the streets.
Professional with expertise in this field
I've seen how hard the staff here work to raise money and to provide services to the hardest to reach youths in San Francisco. They leverage volunteers, product donations and do a lot with what they have. Their staff are caring and passionate about helping youths on the street.
I worked at At The Crossroads for a year, and aside from the great skills and super cool community of co-workers it provided, I think it was only really when I left ATC that I really appreciated how the ideas of nonjudgementalism and support extends not just to its clients but to its volunteers and staff members as well. We were empowered to join ATC in ways that were good fits for us, were given the skills we needed to adjust to our and the power to express and address challenges we faced. I'm learning now away from ATC that a lot of jobs - and a lot of life! - is fitting into other people's boxes (and in many cases being expected to be grateful that you have a box at all) and it's great to have been part of an organization that really values finding that good fit and respects that not everyone wants the same thing out of life or their job - be they a client, a volunteer, or a counselor. So even if other jobs and people don't give me that same respect in the rest of my life, because I got it at ATC I can now apply it to everything I do! So thanks for the memories, ATC! And the tools to make the life I want and be satisfied in it.