The Homeless Youth Alliance (HYA) has launched a fundraising campaign to support a unique strategy for helping young people without homes access services. Titled “Be a Best Friend to Homeless Youth,” the HandUp campaign is raising money to provide pet food for more than 1,000 homeless kids’ dogs every year.
HYA works specifically with young people who end up on San Francisco’s streets after fleeing abusive homes, traumatic experiences in foster care or juvenile justice systems. The San Francisco nonprofit provides healthcare, housing, rehabilitation programs and mental health treatment.
According to the fundraising page, HYA has noticed that reaching local youth can be aided by offering services for their pets.
“For HYA’s staff, helping kids’ pets is the first step in encouraging them to accept help for themselves,” the campaign reads.”More often than not, a life-changing course of positive change begins very simply by a young person asking one of our counselors ‘Do you guys have food for my dog?'”
The nonprofit was receiving dog food donations from a pet store, but it shut down. Afterward, a two-year grant program helped provide donations, but that has now ended. HYA hopes to raise $30,000 by Dec 4 for this project.