Teen Feed’s Programs
Teen Feed’s programs operate on the principle that when youth are able to rely on consistent contact with safe and non-judgmental adults, they are better able to take on the challenges of finding safe shelter, a job, or attending to their mental or physical health. Teen Feed is a confidential program which respects the needs for safety and privacy of the young people we serve. We provide meal site schedules to youth in program, during outreach, and at the Teen Feed office. Teen Feed offers four integrated programs.
The Meal Program serves a hot, nutritious meal at various University District meal sites (seven days a week), in Auburn (every Wednesday and Friday) and South Seattle’s Rainier Beach (every Thursday). Over a healthy meal, young people connect with specially trained advocates and support coordination staff to access the resources and services they need.
Street Talk Outreach Program (STOP):
STOP is aimed at high-risk youth who avoid traditional social service agencies. Armed with backpacks, warm water, granola and soups, STOP sends out teams of staff and peer outreach workers to meet youth in their own environment—the streets and alleys where they spend most of their time. In 2015, STOP made over 3,614 positive contacts with youth on the streets, offering socks, food, referrals to resources, and a relationship with a caring adult – a 30% increase over 2014, and we are growing still. Focusing on building a relationship with homeless youth in their environment breaks down the resistance many have to engaging and working with trusting adults. STOP takes it a step further. We provide support coordination services (case management) for homeless youth ages 18-25 who may not be eligible for our SLY program. In support of this work, STOP Peer Youth Internship Program provides youth transitioning out of homelessness with employment experience while supporting their peers. Youth Interns work for 10 hours per week at a rate of $15.00 per hour for six months of service, assisting on outreach and supporting the Teen Feed meal program. This program enables interns to save funds for rent, providing valuable experience and employment reference while building connections with their peers. In 2015 STOP case managers helped more kids into housing than in any prior year.
Service Links for Youth (SLY):
SLY is a case management program—we call it “Support Coordination”—designed to help youth who are ready to begin the transition to life off the streets. SLY was developed in 1998 after Teen Feed became concerned that many homeless and street-involved youth were not comfortable accessing traditional, agency-based services. Unlike traditional “case management,” SLY was designed as a youth-centered support program that affirms the strengths of each participant as they meet self-identified goals. Our Support Coordinator builds a relationship with each youth to learn what types of resources will help them best succeed. SLY is unique in its focus on meeting youth on the streets and in programs, and it serves a broader range of youth—ages 13 to 25—than most other programs.
Youth Access to Care (YAC):
YAC provides outreach, enrollment, and navigation services for homeless, at-risk, and food insecure young people in need of healthcare. Through Washington State’s Medicaid expansion, nearly all of Teen Feed’s guests are newly eligible for both medical and dental insurance. Youth Access to Care works with young people to review their healthcare options, enroll in health insurance, and leverage new health benefits to obtain preventative care and address preexisting mental and physical health conditions. Teen Feed is a contracted In-Person Assister Organization working in partnership with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange and Washington Healthplanfinder.