This fundraiser closed 5 months ago
Since its inception, the Youth Justice Institute (YJI) has served more than 3,500 youth, trained hundreds of community and system partners on gender responsive and mental health strategies, developed local and regional policies and protocols that prioritized individual needs, and furthered the field of gender responsive strategies, cultural competency and responsive mental health services for system-involved youth.
Now we need your support for the vital programs and services going!
In September, Gena Castro Rodriguez, Co-Founder and Executive Director stepped down to complete her doctor and in December and Kaina Walker—long-time YJI staff member and co-founder of the initial mentoring program—immediately stepped into the role as Interim Executive Director. Kaina is committed to YJI's mission and the Board of Directors is excited to have someone with her experience and expertise on board during this transition. Ms. Castro Rodriguez is still with the organization consultant to offer advice and guidance on navigating the agency through this transitional period.
Under Kaina's leadership, the staff and volunteers of the YJI continue to support youth in the Bay Area juvenile justice system through our mentoring, therapy, and diversion programs. For many youth without adequate supports, we remain their primary source of adult connection and guidance. Recently, YJI has expanded its services from just serving kids during their incarceration to also supporting them in the community. The result is that now many youth in the Bay Area have a consistent mentor or therapist for the long term as they work to become healthy, safe and successful adults.
The Youth Justice Institute, like many agencies, is feeling the crunch of the nation's fiscal crisis. While we have weathered much of the economic downturn, our agency is now faced with significantly reduced funding. Our financial situation is further stressed due to a recent emergency move precipitated by eviction from our long-term offices city safety and health concerns. While our offices had been an in-kind donation from Juvenile Probation for the past ten years, YJI is now forced to pay rent in San Francisco. We have continued to serve our youth, but we must raise vital dollars now to ensure our youth and their families continue to have the support they need to avoid or successfully transition out of the criminal justice system.
That is why today we are asking you to make a gift to help us with your generous donation!. Consider becoming a "youth justice angel" and receive a YJI hoodie in exchange for your gift of $500; become a "youth justice champion" and receive a YJI t-shirt in exchange for your gift of $250; become a "youth justice supporter" and receive a travel mug in exchange for your gift of $150, or become a "youth justice sustainer" at any amount you can afford to give, and know that your donation of any size ensures kids are supported and the programs of YJI are sustained.To kick off the campaign, the YJI Board of Directors has already donated $3000. Our goal is to keep this trend going and raise an additional $15,000 by February 15—so please support Dignity, Humanity and Justice for All Youth!