Changing the Course of the Lives of San Diego’s Transition Aged Homeless Youth Through Caring and Career Skills
SAN DIEGO – Sept. 3, 2020 – National University, Veterans Village of San Diego, Urban Street Angels and Microsoft announced the Life Skills Program to support San Diego’s growing population of homeless transition aged youth (TAY). The goal of the partnership is to equip at-risk youth with crucial support and skills as they transition into autonomous adulthood.
Veterans Village of San Diego, a non-profit serving homeless veterans since 1981, provided safe lodging for the 24 transitional aged youth while they worked with their case managers to move into permanent housing. During the day, participants receive services such as intensive case management, mentors, housing coordination, behavioral health services and more through Urban Street Angels staff. In the evenings, the youth participate in a Life Skills Program, which includes Microsoft computer skills, career goal setting with National University, as well as self-wellness skills.
“One of the most common barriers for our homeless youth in addition to housing is education. This program with VVSD, NU and Microsoft provides all that for our youth and we are so excited about the possibilities and the doors of opportunity it will open for them,” said Eric Lovett, CEO and founder of Urban Street Angels.
On January 14, 2020, Veterans Village of San Diego, National University, Microsoft and Urban Street Angels met to determine the details of this partnership, including what to offer the youth, outcomes, goals and funding of the program. Microsoft prepared a tailored curriculum to teach participants how to use a Surface Go device, funded by National University, as well as the Microsoft products programmed onto a computer, online safety and privacy, create a LinkedIn profile and resume building. National University developed a platform to help the transitional age youth establish SMART goals around going back to school, career interests, developing an education plan, interviewing skills and LinkedIn reviews.
“We believe in the power of education to inspire and strengthen communities,” said Dr. David Andrews, president of the nonprofit National University. “Through the cultivation of community partnerships such as this one and the Life Skills Program, we can increase access to quality education and career building tools to support and develop the next generation of leaders in our community.”
In addition to having an Urban Street Angels case manager, all transition aged youth in the program were paired with an academic advisor assigned by National University.
“Microsoft Store is passionate about unlocking the potential of technology to empower our community,” said Phoenix Robbins, training lead for Microsoft Store of Fashion Valley. “We are proud to partner with such impactful San Diego community groups to provide transitional aged homeless youth the opportunity and training to develop crucial workplace skills they’ll need to enter the job market and pursue their educations.”
Due to COVID-19 and the stay at home orders issued in March, the program was delayed until June. On June 2nd, the program held its official kick-off party, with virtual courses commencing the following week.
About Urban Street Angels
Urban Street Angels is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2012 to help tackle youth homelessness in the San Diego, California area. Urban Street Angels works exclusively with TAY. Most program clients have experienced years of abuse, trauma, and harsh conditions while living on the streets. In order to be successful, the model requires carefully rebuilding the bonds of trust, and providing hope along the way. In the programs, homeless TAY receive the support, training and confidence necessary to leave the streets behind for good. www.urbanstreetangels.org
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
About National University: Founded in 1971 by retired U.S. Navy Captain David Chigos, National University is among the largest, private, nonprofit universities in California. With more than 175,000 alumni, National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students through its three Colleges: Sanford College of Education; College of Professional Studies; and College of Letters and Sciences. Programs are offered both online and at campuses throughout California and Nevada. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. nu.edu
About Veterans Village of San Diego
Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) is a non-profit organization who serves San Diego’s homeless Veterans by providing mental health services, transitional housing services, case management, substance use disorder treatment, residential treatment programs, employment and training programs, and supportive services. In 2019, VVSD was approved to provide housing on the campus to non-veterans. Urban Street Angels established a partnership with VVSD where 30 TAY now reside on the campus of VVSD. https://vvsd.net