About H.O.M.E.Y.
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H.O.M.E.Y.: The Philosophy
HOMEY serves low-income multi-ethnic youth between the ages of 13 to 24 in the San Francisco Mission District; this group of high-risk youth includes youth in gangs, those at high risk of gang involvement, and also isolated and disenfranchised young people who are equally at risk for unhealthy behaviors like violence and drug use.

Studies have shown a direct correlation between gangs and poverty, illiteracy and lack of self-esteem. According to another survey of 251 children led by HOMEY in 2001 and underwritten by Choices For Youth fifty percent of youth living in the Mission District reported being victims of violence and forty-seven percent knew someone who died from violence. These are the shocking numbers of everyday life of young people growing up in the Mission district.

While many mainstream vocational and social services are available to youth, they face many barriers to these support services. They do not feel comfortable, safe or accepted at many traditional, mainstream organizations because they are viewed as societal problems with behavior that needs to be controlled. As a result, they are often alienated from the education, mentors, resources, or peers promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviors. High-risk youth are more likely than youth from stable backgrounds to face depression, drug and alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted disease, incarceration and death.

By understanding and relating to the root causes and key factors of youth violence and self-destruction, HOMEY is uniquely positioned to provide accessible educational, vocational and creative opportunities that build skills and experiences serving as alternatives to self-destructive behaviors.

Our target population is involved in the planning and implementation of the proposed activities by being on our staff and our advisory board. We do not see young people as clients; instead we view them as agents of change. Because of this, all our programs are geared towards empowering young people to be leaders so that they may continue to carry out the programs in the community. Part of our holistic approach to self-destructive behavior, violence and gang prevention is to provide a variety of community-based support services and resources that help program participants, interns and staff learn how to more effectively communicate, peacefully resolve conflicts, make healthy decisions and develop a strong sense of personal worth and connectedness to their community.