KidsTLC recently received a grant for $5,000 from the Flo Harris Foundation to support the Street Outreach Services (SOS) Homeless Intervention Program.
KidsTLC’s Street Outreach Services (SOS) program provides transitional aged youth (ages 16-24) as well as homeless, runaway, and at risk youth with a high level of support, as well as connections to other critical community services. SOS reaches out to youth through local school districts’ McKinney Vento liaisons as well as via a 24-hour crisis line and strategic partnerships with other youth serving agencies. Staff engage youth by providing survival aid, transportation, and life skills education with a primary goal to get any youth who needs it into permanent and rapid re-housing, or refer them on to shelter and transitional living programs as appropriate. The program strategically focuses on building trusting relationships with potential clients and providing current clients with wrap around support including case management, educational supports to earn a GED and/or be ready for college, employment support and job readiness training, financial literacy, mental health support, and rapid re-housing. KidsTLC's SOS program is the only program of its kind providing these types of services in Johnson County, Kansas, making it an essential resource for the county.
The program works with some of Johnson County’s most vulnerable youth that are subject to a variety of risk factors. Clients may be youth kicked out of their homes, who have runway, are transitioning out of foster care, released from juvenile corrections facilities, are couch surfers, or are youth who are at risk for homelessness. Many clients have issues with parental/guardian relationships and other problems in the home such as domestic violence/abuse, while some may become victims of human trafficking. Sadly, this population is at high risk for committing suicide, along with developing other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. A high percentage of these youth lack basic life skills and/or job skills necessary to make it on their own.
KidsTLC has a 44-year history of providing an array of social services to some of the most vulnerable populations of children and youth. The agency has managed programs such as emergency shelter, foster care, transitional living, Level V group homes/residential care, domestic violence intervention, and homeless outreach, among other crisis management programs. Today, KidsTLC has grown into one of Kansas City's leading agencies focusing on the most up-to-date trauma-informed care practices for children, ages 6-18, and their families who are struggling with mental health issues, autism spectrum disorders, crisis situations, and homelessness. The agency provides a full internal system of care, including the highly successful Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility, Phoenix Sanctuary short-term residential services, Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic, Intensive Outpatient Program, Street Outreach Services, Autism Services, and the CARES parent education program. KidsTLC is committed to filling the gaps in services in our community and "transforming lives in our community."