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In response to the homeless teen article (Empire, April 9), I would like to remind the community of the options available to homeless teens through Juneau Youth Services. Juneau Youth Services offers Cornerstone, a 12-bed shelter providing 24-hour access to food, shelter, counseling and referral services. Lengths of stay at Cornerstone may range from dropping in for dinner, to staying for months. Drop-ins are always welcome and are handled differently than teens placed by their families or the Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS). At Cornerstone, we work with the individual to identify current issues, develop a safety plan and access support.
In addition, Juneau Youth Services Mobile Crisis unit (MCU) provides street outreach, snacks and counseling out of a van six nights a week. It is MCU's role to identify runaway or homeless youth, connect with them, offer them services and assist them to access the services.
It is our belief that a basic need of all youth is a relationship with a caring adult. The Cornerstone and Mobile Crisis Unit staff are working hard to develop these relationships. If anyone is aware of specific teens in need of help, please do not hesitate to call on Cornerstone of the Mobile Crisis Unit. Both programs can be reached on the 24-hour hotline: 789-7654.
Emergency Services Program Coordinator
Juneau Youth Services