Jovenes was founded in 1989, with a mission of empowering homeless and at-risk youth to become integrated members of their communities by providing an innovative program of stable housing options, compassionate care, life skills training, and employment support for young adults seeking a path to life change.
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3 Submitted Ideas
- LIVE ·2021 Grants Challenge
From handcuffs to house keys, Jovenes is showing a new opportunity for social justice, one that de-prioritizes incarceration and instead focuses on helping youth meet their basic needs and reintegrate into our community, through the transformation of former Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall. What was once a place of juvenile incarceration is now a home for homeless young women. Opened in January 2021, this program creates much needed crisis/bridge housing in Southeast LA County to help youth meet their basic needs and reintegrate into our community.
- LIVE ·2014 Grants Challenge
The #Invisible2Invincible Campaign raises awareness for challenges faced by homeless youth, systemic change, and develops youth leadership.
- 2013 Grants Challenge
Jovenes is a place of personal transformation for homeless youth ages 18-25. A home and family for those without, Jovenes provides an innovative program of stable housing options, compassionate care, life skills training and employment support to young adults seeking a path to life change. Our experience working with homeless and at-risk youth shows us that when young people are disconnected from empowering opportunities and supportive networks (families, schools, communities), they end up languishing on the fringes of society.
In 2010, Jovenes began asking the question “how can we do a better job of connecting youth with the help they need, and leverage the resources and opportunities provided by our partners?” Easy-to-use technology was our answer, so we developed and launched The Beacon Network (TBN). TBN uses the Internet to offer youth a means to connect and evaluate their options linking both themselves, and their loved ones, to local free or low-cost solutions.
Youth in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles have many needs and challenges, and finding out where to go for help can be overwhelming because there is no one organization that can address all these issues. They also often shoulder responsibility for their families, performing tasks of childcare for younger relatives, getting jobs to support their parents, and translating for non-English speaking family members. This expanded role can be overwhelming. Los Angeles, and Boyle Heights in particular, has a rich fabric of non-profit organizations and social service providers who do outstanding work that leads clients to self-sufficiency and societal integration. However, community members, particularly youth, have trouble finding out how to access the help they need.
The Beacon Network Connect (www.tbnconnect.org) is a bilingual online referral directory tailored to youth in Boyle Heights and East LA. It offers over 250 free to low-cost services that are locally available, allowing youth to find and access the help they need. There are seven core service categories: 1) Youth Community Resources (after school programs, mentoring, arts & culture, volunteer opportunities and more), 2) Education, 3) Health, 4) Basic Needs (including childcare, food, clothing, employment, housing/shelter), 5) Counseling and Support Groups, 6) Legal Assistance, 7) Financial Services. It’s a site that helps youth search, connect, and thrive.
The Beacon Network features a second online platform that is changing the way non-profits collaborate (www.thebeaconnetwork.org). By including other non-profit agencies on our site, and allowing these organizations to collect, pool and share data over time, we are better able to understand the community’s gaps in service and changing needs. It also connects agency staff with resources and events throughout our community via a constantly updated calendar and bi-weekly e-newsletter. Identifying needed services and new community partners is a vital part of this effort.
Our 2050 idea is continue and expand the reach & depth of TBN while training homeless youth that we serve to provide outreach to the teens and young adults of Boyle Heights. This outreach is vital to reaching youth who might otherwise feel disengaged and unconnected. In addition it will provide work experience, confidence building, leadership training, and a stipend to youth who are experiencing homelessness. We have pilot tested this peer–to-peer outreach model and know that inspires our youth and connects with young people in the community.