The Street Youth Outreach Initiative has been consistent and adaptable with weekly outreach. Depending on the day, we will run into people we are familiar with and can continue to follow up, or we make first contact with people. Either way, we hope to strategize collaboratively to offer next steps or relieve immediate needs. We bring a safe presence and a deep desire to help in the most sustainable way. This takes a bit of perseverance and a willingness to be turned down. It also means facing unfathomable crises that try to debilitate the entire effort, but fighting back with words of truth and hope. By stepping out, you too become vulnerable and put your beliefs of helping others into a pressurized box of questions. Even so, we need a posture of courage.
I have continued to press into two specific friends on the street who are willing and wanting consistent help and relationship. As I mentioned before, there are swings of encouragement and swings of devastation. These young men have had a traumatic upbringing and adolescent experience. I have found it most important to be a safe and honest person who can tend to basic survival needs. They recently have left an incredibly manipulative predator and in response, I have made efforts with the Santa Barbara Police Department to make an arrest. He is still out making threats and abusing others, and with any power I may have, I refuse to let that get by.
Depression has been crippling for these two, and it is crucial to bring in mental health collaborators to begin some mental freedom. They are both going back to city college this month and I want them to be set up to focus and do well. Another tough factor is that as of now, they continue to camp off the freeway. Santa Barbara’s biggest issue with homelessness has always been available housing, but I ask that you would join us in prayer for a stable outlet for these two to thrive.
We are all in the work of living and caring for others. Thank you for your support of prayer and friendship.