To assist homeless Western Kenai Peninsula teens who are attending Kenai Peninsula Borough schools by providing contacts with essential needs and mentorship and to assist them in becoming positive members of society, with knowledge that "Rotary cares". This project will work in conjunction with the District-wide Rotary Cares for Kids project as a further pilot project to assist homeless teens who are remaining in school despite their stressful current circumstances. Although many of these students also receive basic assistance from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District during the school year, there is no assistance to them at allow between late May and late August when school is not in session. A secondary goal of this joint project will be to bridge that gap.
This is a joint project with the Kenai Rotary Club to assist throughout the Western Kenai Peninsula including Ninilchik through Kenai, Soldotna, Nikiski, and Sterling areas.
Humanitarian Objectives: The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District currently identifies approximately 70 homeless high school students who have remained in school, but do not have a permanent or stable home environment. There is a federal program in place to help these children during the school year, but as soon as school is out they are no longer eligible for any services. These students have a high probability of making bad, potentially illegal choices over the course of the summer as they are in a very desperate place. By stepping in and providing essential needs and the opportunity to have a mentor that will give them encouragement and provide weekly meals and other essentials to them, we will:
A: Demonstrate to them that they have value and that they are not alone in their struggle
B: Partner with with Rotary Cares for Kids to provide them with immediately necessary items
for their physical well-being
C: Help them realize that they have potential and can even give back themselves
D: Encourage them to continue their education and strive for a better life for themselves
and the people they care about.
E: In addition, for students whose physical well-being is imminently threatened by the lack
of shelter, our intention is to evaluate the usefulness of the "shelter-coats" being
produced by a non-profit business-community effort to produce a product that helps
shelterless persons survive. By doing this, we will potentially reduce the number of
homeless adults in our area and break the cycle by assisting these youth to overcome
their present circumstances.
Active Rotarian Involvement:
I would ask Rotarians to go through the Rotary youth leadership training and background checks and then sign up to be matched with a teen as a mentor. This is a year long commitment to meeting with the teen at least once a week and spend a meal with them. Rotary will pay for that meal out of this grant as well as give homeless teens a gift card for individual Rotarian-determined need at each lunch get-together with these teens. We will become positive roll models and encourage them to emulate us and find a way to tap into their passion and help them pursue it.
Publicity Plan: We will create flyers to be given out to school counselors. We will ask participants to allow us to photograph some of the joint activities that we put together to help these kids participate in community projects, but mostly the youth will know that Rotary cared enough to give them time and not just money and that will have a ripple effect in our community.
Cooperating Organization: We will be working with the established Kenai Peninsula School Districts Student in Transition team - they will identify the youth and give them the life essentials packet and an invitation to contact Rotary for more support. We are hoping to partner with the Rotary Club of Kenai, but as of this submission had not received confirmation of their participation.
Each child will receive a necessity kit including the following:
1 quality backpack
toiletries to include: toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, deodorant and maybe a hand lotion and probably a soft blanket (blankie- we very get to old for those)
I book - probably a "chicken soup for the soul" or an inspirational book and an amazon gift card for audio books.
We need to purchase approximately 70 of these based on current need.
In addition we have been asked for 5 shelter coats
Budget break down
Necessity kits $75 each X 70 = $5,250
Shelter Coats $129.99 each X 5 = $649.95
Food cards or other needed gift cards for students assuming 20 take advantage of mentoring option $200 per student over the course of the summer = $4,000
Total projected need = $9,899.95