There is no One True Face of Youth Homelessness…

There is no One True Face of Youth Homelessness…

Michael was adopted internationally at age three along with his sister. Once in the United States, there was a clear divide between the attention his sister received and what he received from his family. Michael was severely abused by his mother and given age-inappropriate house chores, while his sister was spoiled and well cared for. As a preteen, Michael was sent from New York to a religious boarding school here in Missouri, while his sister remained in the home. When he turned 18, he asked his parents if he could come home to New York. Not only was he told “no, he could not come home”, he was given the option of receiving family assistance at an even greater distance of Arizona. Michael ended up angry and homeless, feeling rejected…
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Life as a Case Manager

Life as a Case Manager

Working as a case manager for Rare Breed is rewarding but not always easy.  When we first meet the youth, they are overwhelmed and scared by the circumstances of their lives. Most have been repeatedly told they are worthless and will never amount to anything until they believe the words others have said.  When we meet these youth, they may have mental and physical illnesses related to the repeated trauma they endure.  Medical help is not a priority for our youth, surviving the day is. Some may self-medicate with anything they believe will help them through that painful moment. Our hardest job is to break through the lack of trust life has instilled in our youth. We do that by listening when they talk. We also pay attention to what…
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Rare Breed Youth Services Success!

Rare Breed Youth Services Success!

When I first came to Rare Breed, I tagged along with a friend who was dating a Rare Breed youth. I did not need Rare Breed services, but I quickly found friends, and became a “Breed Kid” myself. My dad would drop me off at Rare Breed and pick me up on his way home from work. Being a rural kid, I did not have much to do during the day, so many of my friendships were from here. I went to every “Life Skills” class and involved myself in every group. Face painting at Neighborhood Night Out, and back-to-school events that Rare Breed took part in, I was there. During those years, the Rare Breed staff were always there for me, helping me learn how to ask for help,…
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Happy Birthday Rare Breed

Happy Birthday Rare Breed

By Kathy Westmoreland - Youth Services Coordinator It is strange to sit in Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center during COVID 19 guidelines as the building is never this quiet. Youth are still coming in and receiving services, but our buzz is a little bit quieter these days. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on all the shifts, challenges, and wins that this program has seen over the course of twenty years. Countless youth have walked through our doors seeking assistance and they have all brought their own story. The one thing that I can say I have learned in my time here is that there is no one true face of youth homelessness, no one story that brings them here, but support can make all of the…
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