SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Imagine trying to find a safe place to sleep every night. Now try doing that as a 15 or 16-year-old. Homelessness is not just something facing teens in the “big city.” It’s the reality for many youth in our own community.
However, one area business is working to make a difference. Rick Snelson, President of Car-Fi recognized a need here in Springfield and put a plan into action. He contacted Kenwood USA, one of Car-Fi’s largest suppliers, and was able to get 20 backpacks for The Kitchen Inc.’s Rare Breed program. The backpacks will be presented to Rare Breed at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon by Brett Phelps representing Kenwood USA and Reba Brew, Accounting Manager for Car-Fi. The backpacks will then be distributed to area youth. Often times, backpacks like those offer the teens a way to carry not only their belongings, but supplies used for survival.
The Kitchen Inc.’s Rare Breed Youth Services provides assistance to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth ages 13-24 through outreach and housing. The Rare Breed has been assisting youth experiencing homelessness, inter-generational poverty, and trauma since June of 2000 and the outreach center serves 60-70 youth a night. Additionally, case management services assist Rare Breed clients navigate more severe needs including mental health, substance abuse, employment, education, and short/long term housing.