For Immediate Release: October 24, 2016
Contact: – Jennifer Sieracki,
757.963.5795 x 105
SETON YOUTH SHELTERS LOSES $200,000 in 2016 FEDERAL GRANT FUNDING
Funding Cuts Impact Organization’s Critical Street Outreach Program for Teens
Virginia Beach, Virginia—Seton Youth Shelters has received notification of severe federal funding cuts—effective this October 1—totaling $200,000 in 2016 for its Street Outreach Program (SOP). As the region’s only organization devoted to exclusively providing shelter, counseling and outreach to youth ages 9-17, the loss of funding will have a direct and major impact on the SOP’s operations.
Seton’s van-based SOP, both preventative and intervening, travels throughout Hampton Roads, accessing 900 square miles in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Hampton and Newport News. SOP is a mobile van unit equipped with two-person teams, providing access to emergency youth services by routinely visiting high-risk neighborhoods where youth congregate.
Seton Youth Shelters is also a licensed Safe Place Agency, affiliated with the National Safe Place Organization. National Safe Place is a network of “Safe Place” locations–youth friendly businesses, schools, fire stations, libraries, YMCAs and other appropriate public buildings that display the distinctive yellow and black Safe Place sign. In 2015, Street Outreach Programs reached more than 10,000 local youth in Hampton Roads’ most vulnerable neighborhoods. With the recent reduction in funding, Seton may reach less than half that number in the coming year and beyond.
“Our community support this year is especially critical in light of last week’s unexpected and devastating news that we have lost federal funding for our SOP program. This loss translates into an unprecedented $200,000 per year deficit for SOP, which currently reaches approximately 12,000 Hampton Roads’ youth each year,” said Jennifer Sieracki, Executive Director of Seton Youth Shelters. “We are definitely on the lookout for a hero—a funder, or funders, within our community, who will step up and help us keep our vans running—so we can save young lives on the streets of our region,” Sieracki added.
Since 1985, Seton Youth Shelters has provided emergency shelter and crisis counseling for youth, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with the goal of reuniting youth and their families through solution-focused, reality-based programs at no charge to the child or their family. Each year, Seton serves more than 20,000 Hampton Roads’ youth through its three programs. Federal and private grants, along with community and corporate contributions enable Seton’s focus on prevention, intervention, shelter and counseling.
For more information about Seton Youth Shelters, or to make a donation, please visit www.setonyouthservices.org and like us on Facebook (Search: Seton Youth Shelters). For questions or more information, please call Public Relations and Donor Associate, contact info found at the top of this release.
# # #