Three nights a week, HomePlate volunteers serve a warm meal and provide access to necessary resources like hygiene supplies, clothes closet, shower, arts and recreation, and most importantly, supportive relationships with our community of staff and volunteers. The drop-in meals are for youth ages 12 to 24 (and their children), especially for young people who are experiencing housing instability or need extra support in order to achieve self-defined success.
What is provided?
The Fun Stuff
- Support in navigating social service resources
- A hot meal :: see what's for dinner
- Hygiene supplies
- "To Go" food
- Sleeping bags/camping support (when requested)
- Referral information
- A safe space
- Board games and card games
- Arts and crafts projects
- Birthday celebrations
- Conversations with supportive adults & youth
- HomePLAY child care
Understanding the HomePlate philosophy is vital, as it guides all interactions between adults and youth in the program. An in-depth discussion is necessary to fully explore the nuances of the philosophy, but it can be summarized by the simple phrase “Meeting Youth Where They Are”. In order to “meet youth where they are” we start by establishing a trusting relationship built on mutual respect and non-judgment. Once we have a strong relationship established we offer supportive and solicited guidance regarding concerns about the risks and consequences of certain behaviors and provide information, support, services and supplies as necessary.
Our Youth Development Strategy
In addition to the concept of “Meeting Youth Where They Are”, HomePlate uses a framework of positive youth development called “The Circle of Courage”, which is supported by contemporary research, the heritage of early youth work pioneers and Native philosophies of child care. Each quadrant of the Circle of Courage stands for a central value (belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity) of an environment that can claim and reclaim all youth. An in-depth training on the Circle of Courage will be provided to all core volunteers. For more information, volunteers can check out the book Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future
, from which the Circle of Courage concept originated.