Celebrating Year One: An Open Letter from our CEO
It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since the opening of the 1440 Pine Street Apartments. While staff, tenants, board members and myself reflect on this mile marker, there is a clear overarching theme: connection and community are key.
Thanks to the support of community-minded people like you, the young people at the 1440 Pine Street Apartments are on a path to success. You’ve showed up to provide meals, tutoring, clothing, funding, advocacy, and so much more to help ensure every youth in this program thrives.
This anniversary reinforces just how valuable this program is in the lives of young people. In the past year of being operational, we have safely housed 54 youth, with 8 of those young people successfully moving out already and into independent housing. 12 tenants have actively pursued their educational dreams, while we’ve helped 22 youth gain employment, who were otherwise not employed. In addition, many have found the support and safe space they needed to identify next steps for their personal, professional, and emotional growth.
Being a part of the multi-year process to realize this vision, and support young people moving off the streets and into safe and stable housing has been a powerful experience. Moreover, to see the continual growth of the program during a global pandemic is truly inspiring. Clearly, there is no challenge that the staff and tenants at 1440 cannot take on. I believe that the strength and resilience cultivated by both tenants and staff during this time, will only continue to foster incredible innovation, connection, and stability this coming year.
We asked tenants why this housing is important. Here are the things we heard:
“Housing programs like this are needed, the success rate of programs like this are too high to ignore. ”
“Programs like Attention Homes should remain open because it saves young people that do not have the tools yet to be stable on their own. Without Attention Homes being here I would not have my very first apartment.”
“We have increased our group sessions at night here at 1440 Pine Street. The groups are art therapy, emotional support, peer support, movie night and natural highs which will provide a healthy outlet for young peoples’ minds. There are also residents here that are enrolled in college or finishing their GED.”
As we begin year two, we know that it will take all of us, together, to support, strengthen, and keep our young community members safe. Thank you for walking alongside us as we continue to eliminate youth homelessness from our community.