Youth Villages stories

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A community that cares

Jul 20, 2021 | Blog

In 2019, the Anne E. Casey Foundation reported that 15% of children in Massachusetts were in poverty; 25% of children had parents who lack secure employment; and 31% of children were living in households with a high housing cost burden.

More than 90% of the youth and families served in our programs are considered low-income. With the variety of struggles that impact their daily lives, their ability to meet their basic needs can often be limited. The intensive in-home and community-based mental health services provided through our Intercept and LifeSet programs support children and families by increasing the skills they need to remain healthy and stay together. An integral aspect of this holistic approach is addressing any gaps in basic needs that families may experience and providing education on community resources to address these gaps.

Cradles to Crayons has partnered with Youth Villages since 2012. Through their grassroots initiatives and corporate donations, Cradles to Crayons fulfills requests for items to meet basic needs, such as clothing, winter essentials and baby care items for organizations across Massachusetts. With their support, Youth Villages has helped bridge the gap in essential needs for children from birth through age 12. Linking families to these services ensures they receive basic needs free of charge in times of financial strain. With their basic needs met, families can focus on engaging in our mental health services.

A new, young mother entered our LifeSet program. She worked with her LifeSet specialist to create a budget that included rent, food expenses and utilities. She had additional expenses associated with ensuring the best outcomes for her child. The baby was born in the winter, and mom was concerned with ensuring they had proper winter clothes, diapers and other essentials. Mom’s LifeSet specialist was able to request these basic needs through our partnership with Cradles to Crayons to get her new family started as she made long term plans with her specialist.

We are extremely grateful to Cradles to Crayons for their continued partnership with Youth Villages. This year, their support of the children and families in our programs has touched the lives of more than 100 families.

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