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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Street Youth Ministry of Austin

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services, Youth Community Service Clubs, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: Our mission is to know, love and serve street-dependent youths.

Target demographics: street-dependent youths

Direct beneficiaries per year: 519 individual clients meet 647 goals

Geographic areas served: the 12-block area immediately to the west of the University of Texas campus in Austin.

Programs: meals, clothing, cold weather supplies, conversation, referrals to other services, Bible study and a listening ear.

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Preston E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Street Youth Ministry is a very special place for the homeless children and young adults that go there. For them it is one of the few places they can feel safe and accepted. A place of shelter from the harshness of their lives. While there they have access to food and basic medicine. The staff there is wonderful and they provide true care and counseling, showing them there is a better live available through God. Though it is a Christian ministry, no one is turned away or forced to declare a faith. They have their arms open to all with loving care, whatever their clients personal beliefs are. The Ministry has a wonderful art program for the clients. They are encouraged to feel safe in expressing themselves. Whether that is through drawing, painting, or song. Some of the clients even created a rock garden! I can't express how much this helps the clients sense of self worth in a world that so often treats them as unwanted castoffs. In addition to all of that they teach the clients the basics of living and joining society as a productive member. Teaching them to use a computer, how to find a job, ect. All with the goal of teaching them the skills and values that will ultimately get them off the streets. In short, The Street Youth Ministry is a special place and well worth checking out.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SYMin has really stepped up to the plate to serve homeless clients during these difficult coronavirus times! More clients are being served than ever before.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Street Youth Ministry meets immediate needs for homeless youth near UT but more important, it offers counseling that points the way for them to live productive lives!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at this non profit because they are reaching a very specific population that is widely underserved. Street youth ministries is a really genuine place and the clients can feel that. Great place to be a part of.

1 Kristi Shaver G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SYM is such an amazing place. Street dependent youth can find safety, acceptance, and connection here. The staff and volunteers truly care about the youth that drop in. Whether it’s getting clean clothes or a warm meal, locating housing, finding a job, improving communication, modifying behavior, or tackling sobriety - help and hope can be found here.

I absolutely love volunteering and being a part of this non-profit because loving like Jesus is exactly what’s happening here every day. Our clients matter and they have value and worth and they feel that here. It’s where life change is happening through the grace of God. It really is amazing!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place really helps the young people out with lots of different services and a safe place to help them with trying to learn how to get a job and start planning for a future and the food and staff is awesome thank you God for a place and people that care and love like this

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Street Youth Ministry in Austin is truly impacting our city in an amazing way. As a volunteer I have been able to see first hand how SYM's goal, to know, love and serve Austin's street youth, happens daily. Clients of the drop in center can get clothing, a hot meal, shower, and more importantly have a safe community where they know they are loved. I highly recommend volunteering and financially supporting Street Youth Ministry! They're doing great work in our city!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

SYM serves it clients with love, care and respect. The clients are challenged and coached to take on whatever the world brings. Each client is treated as a unique individual. SYM can improve the lives of more street youth with more funding and extending their reach into more of Austin and surrounding areas.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

SYM serves its clients well by providing services that challenge them spiritually and mentally to grow and soon prosper.

Tondra Jade D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

i love this place! They helped me when I was young and on the streets with food, love, prayer and support. Now I am able to work here and give back! This ministry is the rea- deal-holy-phil hands and feet of Christ, and I feel so blessed to get to be a part of it !

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

On a corner in the basement of an old church building, in the heart of a large downtown community, is a small organization that exudes a powerful message of love to very vulnerable street-dependent young adults. Armed with spiritual tools, the small staff energetically delivers daily activities, meals, prayer times, guidance counseling, talent building, daily living support, job coaching and community building. Here is a place where few hands make a mighty impact, over and over and over again. Come and see, and you, too, will be transformed.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Street Youth ministry. I find it both rewarding and challenging at times.

1 Ebiekimie D.

Donor

Rating: 5

The staff and the work they do stay an inspiration to me and remind me of how God shows love through people like them that are willing to invest so much heart and time to see others experience life in a better way!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am always amazed at the way SYM continues to serve it's community year after year, bringing new ideas and positive achievements on a rather small budget. Their heart for their clients is undeniable and Terry has built a team that shares his vision and serves with love. SYM plans their budgets well without a lot of overhead and keep the money flowing where it should to meet their goals. I love the way they share the achievements of the clients on a regular basis because it makes me feel that my donations, though small, really do help make a difference. I no longer live in Texas, but I am happy to be a Prayer Partner and monthly donor and believe this is a vital service to the Austin community. May God continue to bless this wonderful organization.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm so proud to be a part of Street Youth Ministry of Austin. This ministry is changing the lives of the community it serves and the environment on the streets of downtown Austin.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've volunteered and donated to this ministry for several years now, and i will continue to do so, because i find it to be prayerfully motivated, smartly run and sincerely interested in knowing street-dependent youths and discovering fresh ways to serve them and rekindle inside them a hope that eventually leads them to exit the streets and resume satisfying and productive lives. Its approach is not duplicated anywhere in the U.S., i believe (and I've looked), but it ought to be!. I encourage everyone to check out the website (streetyouthministry.org), sign up for a newsletter, ask for a copy of the annual report, or take the plunge and become a volunteer. You will be amazed!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Street Youth Ministry recently assumed responsibility for the Drop-In Center located in the basement of the Congregational Church of Austin. That makes SYM the primary provider of care to the street-dependent youths who populate the Guadalupe "Drag" west of the UT campus. If you have a heart for the homeless, i strongly suggest you consider including SYM in your giving plans this year. Take a look at their website -- streetyouthministry.org. It is an amazing organization!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff is amazing and I look forward to volunteering every time!! They really help the homeless community and you can tell the difference they are making.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Street Youth Ministry over a year ago and have been volunteering with them in some capacity or another. Terry Cole and his staff run a very well-organized nonprofit - on a shoestring budget. Their website provides information on ways to help and specific needs and an easy signup process. They confirm your volunteer slot and send you a reminder and a receipt. The staff are a joy to work with. The difference they make in young peoples' lives is very evident . These special young people are shown love, learn accountability, and their progress and milestones are celebrated. Another thing to note about this organization is that they keep meticulous record-keeping of hours volunteered, monetary and in-kind donations. I received a detailed report of my volunteer efforts and donations at the end of the year. My granddaughters have enjoyed helping me with some of the tasks, and this gives them an opportunity to log their own volunteer hours.

1 Vanessa E.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have seen Street Youth Ministry go above and beyond to assist and provide for their clients not only to meet the physical needs, but also the spiritual and mental needs. Many success stories come from this amazing ministry!

1 TBoehman

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I LOVE how SYM invests in their clients future through guidance counseling instead of only giving them things that they need for that moment. Lives are changed because of this investment!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SYM doesn't just provide the youth with what they need at the moment (i.e. Food, clothing, first aid items, etc.) they get to know the youth and care for their hearts minds and souls. Amazing connections are built. Love their work and working with them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

SYM has made an indelible footprint in the community supporting vulnerable street dependent young adults. The programming is unique and creative, while challenging each client to trust and explore what barriers might exist to prevent the client from achieving his/her individual goals. The budget is lean; staffing is lean but carefully managed for safety and maximization of resources. Clients are treated with respect and provided continual guidance to support needed lifelong changes.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Street Youth Ministries is an amazing organization with great programs that gives hope to the youth. I am proud to be part of this family as a volunteer.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve known the founder for over 10 years and see the heart and significant time that Terry puts into SYM. In recent years it has grown with the addition of a leased facility, the drop-in, which would have likely disappeared without SYM’s willingness to stretch to keep it open and make it a more central meeting space for the ministry. I’ve seen the results year-in and year-out, teens and young adults making step-by-step changes as a direct result of SYM’s friendly, Christian counsel. They regularly take organic food donations that would otherwise have gone to waste and provide nutritious and tasty meals at events for clients.

Rachel J.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I haven't been there but I follow them on FB. I work Public transit. I talk to people young kids -street youth. I think everyone of them have told me about this place..that's why I started following them. The kids have said Positive stuff!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This street youth outreach has helped many youth in need; food, clothes, vouchers, showers, laundry. I'm very thankful for the love they show our street youth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow. This organization truly changes lives. Talk about faith in action! SYM leads its clients through setting a series of goals that give them hope and eventually help them acquire those items and skills necessary to productive lives. That sometimes takes years, and scores of individual goals, but SYM stays the course with them from start to finish!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Street Youth Ministry continues to do great work using its new Drop-In Center located in the basement of the Congregational Church of Austin. In addition to giving direct support to street youth, SYM develops volunteer skills, sponsors internships and advocates on behalf of street youth. If you have a heart for the homeless, i strongly suggest you consider including SYM in your giving plans this year. Take a look at their website -- streetyouthministry.org. It is an amazing organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SYM is my place on Friday!!!! I love seeing billy, terry, dee, and Rosie!!!! They help me with kitchen essentials, cleaning supplies, and clothes! I do on fridays because it’s support group day and I just need to vent about my week and I get great advice from friends!!!

2 Martha A. C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization. They do great work with street-dependent youth. With the support of SYM, many have gotten off the street, stopped destructive habits, gone back to school. It’s good stuff.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome ministry, meets clients where they are with tender loving compassion. Rebuilding a shattered identity, restoring dignity and re-establishing hope in humanity. We are connected in suffering and united in healing. Blessing in all you do.

1 Billy17

Donor

Rating: 5

I love these guys. The donors are unbelievably generous, and the clients are equally appreciative. We have been witness to so many amazing transformations already this year; I cannot wait to see what God has in order. A year ago we didn't know if we were up to the challenge but not only did we meet expectations we blew it out of the water. With community partners, we can compliment the service we already offered, such as immunizations, Yellow Bike, and a real sense of caring. God has his hands all over this ministry - it is difficult to put into words.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Street Youth Ministry of Austin has been a life-changing experience. The way this ministry deals with clients is inspiring, humbling, and motivating. Attending to these clients in a personal level have enriched and fulfilled my life in ways I didn't expect. I realize I can do more for them, and always find myself looking forward to the next time to be of service. Witnessing the passion Mr. Terri places in every single relationship he builds with his clients, with genuine dignifying care and respect, and incredible patience, I've humbled myself and widened my scope in matters of life in which most people would choose to look the other way. The welcoming ambiance has a strong feeling of family and camaraderie. Clients spontaneously find a much needed peaceful and safe place that has been set up strategically to reach them at the stage of personal, emotional, and spiritual development they are and scaffold them to higher levels of personal growth without being pushed or coerced. They start wanting to learn more, seeking and finding that spiritual connection that anchors their sense of being, the realization that their lives are worthy and that they can find ways to achieve their dreams. Possibilities can be in their hands. Clients learn skills they have been missing and yearning to acquire, and they move eventually towards a life with more independence and healthier choices. Clients are the ones who then start helping each other, mentoring each other, and finding that light at the end of the tunnel that brings them hope and sense of value they had been lacking. Being part of this process, even a few hours per week brings to my belt an experience impossible to get in any other field.

1 Terry105

Board Member

Rating: 5

I work here. I learn so much from our clients. We listen to them. They know what will help the most. We take their ideas and find ways to bring them into being. We are really in partnership with our clients in making the world just a little bit better--maybe making our neighborhood a whole lot better.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of volunteering at Street Youth Ministry and I do not regret any of the 30 hours of service I have done here. Each and every time I was astounded by the amount of appreciation I received from the clients and the workers alike. The place has a homey feel about it, and you can tell that the clients are definitely at ease here. I myself am at ease here. Volunteering for Street Youth Ministry has deeply impacted my life by showing me that there more to the street youth than the fact that they are homeless; it has shown me that they are intelligent beings with goals and motivation. I have loved this organization and everyone included in it deeply.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During the time I volunteered I noticed how much everyone cares for each other and the role we can all have on the homeless youth. The environment that's created is very positive and it encourages the youth to drop in and hang out . This is a very positive place to volunteer in and I would recommend it to anyone in the area looking to make a positive influence.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During the time I spent volunteering at the Youth Street Ministry in Austin, I saw so many of the ways they are able to help the homeless youth in the city. I got to spend time with some of the clients and learn their stories and even see some of the progress they are making every day. My time at the ministry was a blessing to me and I am sure that it has been a blessing to every client who has spent time there too.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love volunteering with this organization with such welcoming people. It has been such a great experience working with them

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have volunteered with Street Youth Ministry of Austin for at least 4 or 5 years, through our home group at the Austin Stone. Each home group is challenged to serve others in their community and our group fit well with this Ministry and with Terry. We served by running a wash day at a local Laundromat (whose owner was gracious to let us take over the facility to provide laundry services for the street youth!) - we would provide detergent, an endless supply of quarters, dinner and drinks once a month. Sometimes we made sandwiches, in the colder months we made soup and we were blessed to get to know some of Terry's clients, to hear their stories and to share our own stories with them. It was encouraging to us to hear the success stories of going to school, getting a job or getting back in touch with families. Terry has a huge heart and his ministry definitely meets a need here in Austin. Praying God's blessing on you, Terry, and on your clients! The Bunches

1 Sylvia19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Street Youth Ministry does so much for the homeless in Austin, Terry has a big soul, God Bless Terry and his mission for the homeless !!!

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is an example for many others to follow, that do an awesome job with their ministry and the homeless !

1 Bruce56

Advisor

Rating: 5

SYM does a great job of taking contributions, and applying them directly to where they can do the most good.

An example. Rather than just giving books to homeless students, they ask those who get aid to "pay it forward" and help give a tiny amount to future students. Participation is excellent, and it really helps foster a stronger feeling of community and cooperation among the street youth.

SYM is thoughtful, effective, and innovative.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been involved with Street Youth Ministry for several years, making sandwiches, and clothing donations and have been watching the dedication that Terry Cole has for the street youth in Austin, TX. We get regular newsletters and emails and prayer requests that are evidence of the great labor of love and faith that defines this organization. We would love for him to have even more support to do this important and life-changing ministry in Austin.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

SYM works with homeless street youth by talking/listening to them, helping them get IDs, finding jobs, providing meals, summer time movies in a safe environment. Giving financially to SYM is an easy way to help since I am not close enough volunteer. It is Christian faith based, but don't let that turn you off as the benefits to the youth outweigh your hesitancy. They help these youth go to college with textbook scholarships, celebrate accomplishments in the lives of the youth like getting off and staying off alcohol and drugs. I am impressed with SYM, it's volunteers and the street youth themselves for what they are doing.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Terry Cole and Street Youth Ministey for the Monday morning prayer time, and also have seen him with the youth he's brought to our church for Wednesday night dinner. Terry is able to handle difficult clients with a calm demeanor which reinforces the rules for participation in a way that allows the client to make the choice and be responsible for their own behavior. Terry tirelessly works to help his clients improve their personal situation through obtaining IDs, finding jobs, enrolling in college, and other ways to improve their financial situation. However, I believe he respectfully strives to demonstrate that his faith in Jesus Christ is what motivates his actions, and thereby guides his clients into reconciling their personal relationships and accepting responsibility for their behavior as the primary step towards a fruitful life in a stable environment. I wholeheartedly support Terry and am grateful to be one of the prayer partners who receive specific prayers for rotating clients on a regular basis.

2 Marilyn13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SYM is an amazing organization. I first heard of it while still residing in Houston & my son was on the streets of Austin. After I moved to Smithville last summer, I contacted Terry on FB. He later invited me to volunteer & witness the awesome work this ministry does for the street youth of Austin. God Bless SYM ♡

2 Lisa566

Donor

Rating: 5

Street Youth Ministry of Austin is an outstanding organization and a great model for other organizations to use in providing services to street dependent individuals. I first became aware of this ministry when my son was street dependent in Austin and received services. That is when I first became a donor, hoping to help others like my son. I have walked the drag on Friday and seen first hand the awesome interaction between clients and volunteers and the difference this organization makes to lives of those in need. Sometimes a pair of socks, a meal, a pair of shoes, a bottle of water, or just someone to listen and care can make a big impact on a persons life. This ministry not only helps with immediate needs but with the long term by providing support for moving from street dependent to housing and a church community. I love this group!!!!!

2 Heidi71

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Terry and his team of interns and army of volunteers have done so much to show real love to the street youth (and some not so young) homeless on Austin's drag. The practical help they give that is much needed is done hand in hand with genuine care and interest in their lives. They seem to be continually thinking of ways to be more effective, more accountable, more helpful to the people they serve and the volunteers who donate to SYM. I can say without a doubt this is one of the best, most honest and truly God centered ministries I have ever worked with and look forward to reading the updates they send about clients and their needs.

2 Russ6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow. This organization truly changes lives. Talk about faith in action!

2 Patti58

Donor

Rating: 4

I am truly amazed at the success stories of Austin Street Youth, most clients are 17-23 years of age. For many Street youth this will be the last chance to receive the love and structure needed to become productive members of society. It is so hard to write this, knowing of all the organisations presently available, yet finding out how many children fell through the cracks. This program is what bruised, battered, broken and abandoned on the wrong side of life need, a good Samaritan to pick them up.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

they just enable all these horrible people to do nothing because they know someone else will provide for them. they need to help these kids get jobs not a pr of socks.

1 Thom G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered one day in the summer and love the work Street Youth Ministry is doing. I've been getting email updates for a couple of years and it's beautiful to see the stories of kids on the street not only getting basic needs taken care of at SYM, but also genuinely being changed by the preaching of the gospel. They also send out emails with prayer requests from their clients.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

SYM meets young homeless people where they are with encouragement, practical helps, and inspirational activities.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am continually amazed at the impact SYM has on the lives of the street dependent youth in Austin and the success of it's clients in getting off the streets and staying off. The number of clients who are now attending college and working shows the positive impact of SYM's efforts to support these young people. I have met many of these young people and sometimes can't believe the transformation when they leave the streets and re-enter the education system or workplaces.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated in Street Youth Ministry's Christmas party for its clients in December, so I was able to observe first-hand the care and professionalism with which the two missionaries in the program interact with the street-dependent youth. Afterward, I made the determination to become a regular donor and start spreading the good news of Street Youth Ministry.