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Thanks to the generosity of Representative Danny K. Davis, five TLP youth, who successfully transitioned from homelessness to self-sufficiency, had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch history as it unfolded on January 20th as they attended the inauguration of Barack Obama. Tickets were also provided so TLP’s clinical director, Dr. Ozella Phillips, and executive director, David Myers, could attend.
In addition to attending the We Are One concert and a Pre-Inauguration Ball, Cherice, Crystal, Kevin, Eric, and Patricia volunteered at a local food drive on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “Once upon a time we were in the situation where we were getting and not giving. And it’s important to give,” Cherice said.
The moment they were all waiting for, of course, was witnessing the inauguration ceremony of America’s 44th president. “It was so crowded, we had to hold on to one another’s clothes and try not to get separated,” Crystal recalled. Said Patricia, “I’ve never seen that many people in one place and not heard a sound.” It was an experience none of the five will ever forget. “President Obama’s speech keeps playing over and over in my head like a song,” Kevin explained. “His words were so powerful that standing there was like a dream in the making.”
Reflecting upon our nation's history of struggle and dreams that culminated in Mr. Obama's election, Eric said with excitement, “I never really thought this would happen in my lifetime. To see a black man become the president means a lot."
TLP sends its immeasurable thanks to Congressman Davis, who made this experience, this dream, a reality. We are also grateful to United Airlines for complimentary airline tickets; to Marriott for discounted rooms; to SUPERVALU/Jewel-Osco for help with meals; and to Reingold Marketing and Communications for pro-bono public relations.
When the grandmother who was raising her died suddenly, Vanessa had no place to stay. She was referred to Teen Living Programs (TLP) by a police officer. Today, Vanessa is living on her own and pursuing a nursing degree. Tina finally left home after repeated conflicts with her parents about her sexual orientation. A social worker directed her to TLP, where she earned her high school diploma and secured a job. Now, Tina lives in her own apartment, is enrolled in college, works full-time, and serves on the National Network for Youth’s board of directors.
Tonight, right here in Chicago, 2,000 young people like Vanessa and Tina are without a place to call home. At TLP, we believe that all youth are entitled to a warm, safe bed; a community of support; and resources that will help them reach their goals. Through comprehensive services and support, we embody compassion, encourage independence, and empower change. Most importantly, we make a positive, permanent difference in the lives of the youth we serve.
Those of us with philanthropic hearts and means are making difficult choices about where to give this holiday season—assessing where our donation will make the greatest difference. It is a decision that must be made with both the heart and the mind. TLP provides services that are as deep as they are far-reaching, offering youth an opportunity not simply to survive, but to thrive—a safe place to live; nutritious meals; a community of care; and the resources to build the skills and confidence they need to lead satisfying, self-sufficient lives.
TLP is the only hope for many teens on the street tonight. This holiday season, give a gift that is both prudent and compassionate. Make a difference. See results.
One youth at a time, for more than 32 years, Teen Living Programs has crafted and implemented strategies that work, with programs that yield lasting results. We know that with the support of highly skilled professionals and programs tailored specifically to youth’s needs—including counseling, GED preparation, nutritional guidance, job training, and more—youth become their own change agents, catalyzing dramatic life transformations and leaving the streets permanently. Innovation is coupled with accountability, so we track outcomes in six impact areas. Every summer, TLP holds its Program Summit, where staff and board members review the past year’s results and plan for the year to come. Last fiscal year (July 1, 2007—June 30, 2008) TLP youth:
Congratulations to our youth for all they have accomplished!
Housing, education, employment, life skills, health, and meeting personal goals—TLP has found achievement in these six impact areas to be fundamental to helping youth who were once homeless to build lives of satisfaction and self sufficiency. Building a history of success: TLP has now tracked five of our main program outcomes for four years. During that time, youth achievements have surpassed program goals in all five areas.