About Urban Street Angels
Our story starts in 2012, when we became a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization aimed at addressing youth homelessness in San Diego, California. Back then, we were just a small group of volunteers going out several times a month with a few backpacks of supplies and some home cooked meals. What we quickly discovered was that San Diego has a vast number of resources dedicated toward feeding and supplying the homeless, but a key service seemed woefully left out – transitional housing and work programs for youth ages 18-25. This demographic seemed largely ignored, and thus was born our dream of creating something much more sustainable and impactful than just feeding the needy.
Fast forward to today, and we currently operate with three primary areas of focus:
1) Supportive Housing and Transitional Employment: Through our 8 West program, a social enterprise startup, we provide transitional employment and supportive housing opportunities to homeless youth. The youth are employed by 8 West to make soap, candles, and other items, all while learning valuable life and job skills along the way. They also live in our supportive housing units and receive weekly therapy, secure rides to school/work, engage in team building activities with their fellow house-mates, and are responsible for paying a small amount of rent that is then escrowed and given back to them upon completion of the 18-month program. Visit www.8west.org for more information or to buy their handmade soaps/candles.
2) Overnight Shelter: We provide an overnight shelter each Tuesday night for 20-25 homeless youth. Our shelter is located at Mission Gathering Church in North Park, with more locations and nights expected to open soon. This shelter provides a much needed act of love and support for San Diego’s homeless youth, and a large majority of our supportive housing/transitional employment program members originated here where they learned to trust what Urban Street Angels stands for.
3) Weekly Outreach: We still provide basic human services, including nourishing meals, water, hygiene supplies, clothing, and more on a weekly basis to homeless individuals of all ages in the Ocean Beach neighborhood. This allows us to build relationships with the homeless youth in the area, with the goal of helping them move up to our other programs over time.
All three programs are aimed at the singular goal of ending youth homelessness, and helping our youth transition to a sustainable, successful, and happy life.