age 20, Arrived in Atlanta from a small town in South Georgia. She was in foster care most of her life, but was now homeless and desperate for an opportunity to change her life. She learned of a program offered by officials in another Georgia city that provided homeless people bus tickets to a choice of 4 large southern cities, so she boarded a bus to Atlanta. When she got to the Atlanta Greyhound station, she knew no one. She was approached by a middle-aged man wanting to employ her on the streets. She refused and took the brunt of his rage.
age 18 is a junior in high school. He stays with a different friend each week (aka couch surfing). His father is in jail and his mother isn't in touch very often. He struggles to stay in school, but is determined to finish high school and attend technical school. He does not want to repeat the same mistakes his parents' have made.
age 17 left home due to mother's drug abuse. Came to downtown Atlanta from suburbs in hopes of finding a job and a place to sleep. He is just shy of being a senior in high school.
StandUp Volunteers are first responders on the street. We find kids living on the street after being abused, manipulated, neglected and thrown away - our volunteers show respect and patience. We provide all youth with a voice and choice, respecting their diversity, beliefs and decisions. Volunteers provide resources, toiletries, food and harm reduction counseling to guide them to safe, age appropriate shelter.
Homelessness is not only on the streets of Atlanta, but also in our schools! Mentors meet homeless and at-risk high school students during lunch to empower them towards personal and educational achievement through supportive adult mentoring relationships. Mentors build self-esteem, provide emotional and educational support, teach life skills and keep kids in school and on track to graduation. Studies show that 75% of homeless students drop out of high school. For the 2017/2018 school year, 89% of our students graduated or stayed in school!
What makes us unique?
We are composed of 95% volunteers. Only 4 paid staff members and over 100 volunteers, it is due to our volunteers and community support we are able reach as many kids as we do without the administrative overhead.
We know every kid is only one caring adult away from the potential of changing their entire story.
No kid deserves to be abused, abandoned or exploited. Every kid deserves someone who will listen, support, guide and love them for who they are. We know that every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.