Do More Good | Covenant House
As December marches on and the holiday season is in full swing, it’s hard to ignore the chill in the air. The average December temperature in New York is in the low 30s. As you bundle up to venture out, or cozy up at home with loved ones, it can be easy to forget that not everyone is as lucky. In the United States alone, 3.5 million young adults ages 18 to 25 experience a form of homelessness during the course of a year — that’s one of every 10 young adults. Another 700,000 adolescent minors, ages 13 to 17, experience a form of homelessness. In 2017, homelessness, in general, increased for the first time in seven years in the United States. On a single night, according to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 553,742 people were found to be experiencing homelessness in the U.S.
For many of us, it’s hard to imagine one night alone on the street, harder still during the coldest months of the year, and nearly impossible to imagine night after night with no end in sight. Thankfully, for the young men and women who find themselves on the streets with nowhere to go, they have Covenant House to turn to.
“Capital Campaigns are hard, but the young people we serve make it a whole lot easier. The resilience, hope, faith and good humor that they bring to our doors after what is often a lifetime of abuse, neglect and heartbreak is inspiring to our supporters. Even more so, we see every day how hard they are working to change their lives and want to work just as hard grow our mission so no young person will have to experience homelessness again.” Says Chief Development Officer of Covenant House New York, Jill Rottmann Vordran.
Covenant House International was founded in 1972 with the simple, profound mission to help homeless kids escape the streets. Today, there are Covenant House sites in 31 cities throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America, and the organization is distinguished as the largest privately funded nonprofit in the Americas. Guided by an unwavering “open door” policy, all young people seeking refuge are welcomed, their immediate needs are met, and a team of dedicated professionals and volunteers work to personalize their pathways out of poverty toward healthy and hope-filled futures. Most importantly, Covenant House nurtures youth with unconditional love and absolute respect, refusing to let them give up and patiently helping them heal from their painful histories of abuse, violence and trauma. Covenant House uses a multifaceted, holistic and proactive approach to manifest hope and demonstrate that a brighter future is possible for its kids. Programs and services are designed to play specific roles in the journey from homelessness to healing to independence. Over the course of its 40-year history, Covenant House has opened its doors to more than one million kids, reaching 80,000 young men and women each year.
Never satisfied with “good enough,” in 2016 Covenant House embarked on a network-wide $100 million comprehensive effort to achieve the goals of its strategic plan. The plan calls for aggressive growth to reach more youth each year by expanding residential programs, as well as through outreach, prevention and education, and by the opening of new houses in Anchorage (AK), Asbury Park (NJ), Berkeley (CA), Chicago (IL), Elizabeth (NJ), Grand Rapids (MI), Mexico City (MX), Toronto (ON), Vancouver (BC), Washington D.C. and York (PA). Additionally, Covenant House is investing in innovative strategies that reflect its commitment to being a data-driven, learning organization that employs high-quality, evidence-based practices to achieve and strengthen results for and with the youth it serves.