Street Youth Outreach

Breaking Down Assumptions

“We prefer the term ‘home free’ versus ‘homeless.’ We don’t live within confines or comforts, but make home wherever we travel to,” said Esperanza*, a young woman with a bright smile, paint splattered upon her hair and jeans, and a knee brace supporting her long-trudged legs. I met her and her traveling mates, two young men and a dog named “Chicken,” during outreach this week. They’ve been together for a few months and the duration of their stay in Santa Barbara is unknown to them. Who knows which destination they’ll bounce to next, or if they’ll grow into the comforts of the warm beach, but it is my prayer for all the young adults who are marked by themes of transiency to have people come alongside them who authentically believe in them. For their lack of natural support systems and past traumas of abuse, abandonment, and betrayal to undergo healing. For the hope of living ‘home free’ with safe and healthy peoples, but still having a ‘home base’ to be known by a place and community that encourages restoration and the cultivation of dreams. When bones grow achy and relationships strained, for there to be the freedom of lifestyle choices, but the knowledge and imagination for new possibilities.

We, the seemingly housed passersby, have responsibility to break these kids’ assumptions that we are fearful and judgmental of the world and of them.  Our Uffizi outreach team is still working to extend safe contacts of coordinated volunteers to join us. Whether this calls to you or not, I hope you take upon the commission of lovingly engaging with others wherever you go.

Thank you for your enduring attention and support! We can’t do it without you.