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.
I've been involved with At The Crossroads for almost 13 years now: first as a foundation program officer, coaching the executive director in submitting applications for funding, then as a sounding board for the E.D. as the organization grew, then an advisory board member, and now as head of the board of directors of a 501c3 organization! I am really proud of ATC: this organization has strong values of non judgmental support and yet everyone is encouraged to hold themselves to high standards. It sounds like a contradiction, but staff and board and volunteers work hard to make it possible for our outreach workers to help youth on the streets of San Francisco. ATC has a great record of helping homeless youth to envision an outstanding future for themselves, and then helping them to make that happen!
I have known about this organization from very early in its life: I work for a group of family foundations, so part of my job has been to learn about and follow At The Crossroads. Last year, I was honored to become part of a group that will be the Board of Directors as ATC goes through the process of getting its 501(c)(3) status. The thoughtfulness and care that Rob and his team give to every decision is admirable, whether it is choosing how to train new outreach workers or what kind of event is appropriate to celebrate ATC's 10th Anniversary. This agency is a unique mix of heart and mind, and the young people on the streets who are ATC's clients perceive that and respond to the genuine caring evidenced by staff and administration.
I have been involved with At The Crossroads for almost 10 years. First as a client, then a donor, and now a board member.
When I met the staff of ATC I was a homeless youth on the streets of the Mission. It has been an evolving relationship for me and ATC. At no time did I feel as a client that I was being told what to do, they have always held my goals in the highest regard, with out trying to push an agenda. As some one who resists authority and being told what to do, I have found the approach of ATC to be both effective and refreshing.
My experience with ATC is that they carry out exactly what their mission states. They meet their target population at their place of need. This is why after my life circumstances changed I went back to ATC to help them.
It has been the most rewarding relationship I have ever had with an organization. I thoroughly enjoy my interactions with the staff and other board members and I have been able to encourage members of my family and friends to volunteer and donate to ATC.
Rob Gitin's At The Crossroads crosses barriers unlike no other outreach organization in San Francisco. The enormous appeal and response by homeless youth to the ATC staff is a testament to the philosophy and unconditional support offered to young people on the street. Enabling and empowering young peeple to reach more satisfying lives has been the core mission and the success rate is a model to other organizations.