Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter Receives $5,000 Grant

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(SAVANNAH, GA) Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter is the recipient of a $5,000 grant award from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. to be used for operational and program expenses. The Shelter, located at 514 East Henry Street, is open 24 hours a day and offers a safe and loving environment to homeless, abused and runaway teenagers between the ages of 11 and 17.

“Thanks to Gulfstream’s support, we will be able to provide shelter, food, clothing and counseling for troubled teens who have nowhere else to turn,” said Park Place Outreach Executive Director Linda Hilts. “The funds will be used to carry on with the operational expenses of providing residential and non-residential services for these youth as well as counseling services for parents.”

Park Place Outreach operates the only shelter in Savannah and Chatham County serving youth age 11 to 17. All services are provided free, including a safe, secure place to stay along with meals and transportation to and from school. The staff also offers family counseling with follow-up visits after a resident returns home, as well as non-resident services including an after-school tutorial and drop-in center, recreational services and after-care services.

Since opening in 1984, over 6200 at-risk youth have been served by the organization. For more information, visit http://parkplaceyes.org.

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come in to the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter is an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped over 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

CONTACT
Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621
www.parkplaceyes.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
912.844.9990

ParkPlaceOutreach

Savannah’s Youth Emergency Shelter, Park Place Outreach, receives $1000 grant from Publix Super Markets Charities

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(SAVANNAH, GA) Publix Super Markets Charities awarded Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter with a $1,000 grant in support of their community outreach efforts. The grant money will be used to continue to provide runaway, homeless and at-risk youth with the counseling and services they require.

“We are so grateful for the generous support of Publix Super Markets Charities,” said Linda Hilts, Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter’s executive director. “We can’t thank them enough for helping us combat the challenges facing our community and ensuring that we will have the ability to continue the work that we do.”

According to the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless’ most recent homeless count in 2014, there are 3,997 homeless persons including 717 children and youth, 1127 women and 2153 men, 285 of which are veterans. This count does not include more than 800 homeless children enrolled in the public schools as they do not meet HUD definition of homeless but are considered homeless under the public school system.

Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. With the generous support of local organizations such as Publix Super Markets Charities, Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped over 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org

Linda Hilts

Linda Hilts

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come in to the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter is an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped over 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

CONTACT
Linda K. Hilts
Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621
www.parkplaceyes.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
912.844.9990

Teens In Trouble: Raising Awareness For Youth Homelessness

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Teens In Trouble: Raising Awareness For Youth Homelessness
By Linda Hilts

Together, the words youth and homeless may seem out of place to you. But did you know that every year in the United States there is an estimated 1.8 – 2.1 million homeless children living on the streets.

Homeless youth are children under the age of eighteen who lack parental, foster, or other care services. The number continues to rise and the lower end of the age range continues to drop each year. Children as young as eleven are now living on the streets.

For most of us, it’s unfathomable how this could happen but the causes are deep-rooted, multilayered and extremely complicated. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a large number of homeless children interviewed reported that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and did not care.

The reasons for escaping a traumatic home life include physical and mental abuse, economic problems, and overall neglect. In addition, many homeless children suffer from depression, substance abuse and anxiety disorders. As you might imagine, these young people are susceptible to teen pregnancy and criminal activity, leading to a continual cycle of abuse.

The Savannah area is not immune to the cycle of homelessness. In Chatham County, 54% of homeless are men, 28% female, 10% female youth, and 8% male youth.

Approximately 125 to 150 youth (residential and non-residential) are served each year through Park Place Outreach. The capacity of the shelter is 12 at any given time, with four beds reserved to guarantee that no child in need of emergency shelter is ever turned away. Park Place Outreach also provides comprehensive outreach services designed to prevent incidents of running away and homelessness. Through these outreach efforts, Park Place Outreach reaches approximately 2,600 youth each year.

Since opening in 1984, PPO has served over 6,200 youth. Last year, in 2014, Park Place Outreach provided shelter for 84 residents, 41 non – residential clients, 41 non-residential families and served 6,298 meals plus two snacks per day.

The ultimate goal for Park Place Outreach and most youth shelters across the country is to provide a safe and loving environment with hopes of reunifying families.

According to the First Focus Campaign for Children, the number of homeless students in the U.S. increased by 8% in the school year 2014-15 from the previous academic period. And here at home, these numbers are also rising. Savannah Chatham Public School System reported that there were 975 students experiencing homelessness in the 2013-14 academic year.

Recall for yourself how difficult it was surviving the middle and high school years. Add to that the struggles of being abandoned by your parents or running away from home and you have a recipe for complete despair. Most young people want to blend in and look like everyone else around them, causing as little attention to themselves as possible. This desire to mask their reality makes it even more difficult for schools to identify homeless students.

Public schools are required to ensure homeless students have access to a free public education. Fortunately, students are allowed to stay in their “home” school and transportation must be provided to that school. But this transportation cost quickly consumes most of the funding set aside for youth homelessness. Federal funding is based on the number of students identified as homeless which makes it critical to know how many students are living on the streets or in shelters.

Organizations such as Park Place Outreach play a vital role in filling the gap for services needed for these troubled teens and children. The local shelter is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a primary goal of supporting children in need.

In 2014, the National Runaway Safeline reported 130 inbound and 71 outbound calls for the 912 area code. This is a community-wide epidemic that is not going away easily. And if not supported, these young people will become part of the adult homeless population and another statistical representation of this destructive cycle affecting families. Support and education are the two primary tools we can use in the fight against homelessness. To learn more about youth homeless or how you can help make a difference here at home, visit www.parkplaceyes.org

Linda K. Hilts is the Executive Director at Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter. Hilts can be reached at 912-234-4048.

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Safe Shelter to Cut Ribbon for Youth Enrichment Services Center

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(SAVANNAH, GA) SAFE Shelter Center for Domestic Violence Services will hold a ribbon cutting Wednesday, Sept. 30 for its new, 1,500 square foot Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Center designed to hold activities and services geared towards children ages 12-18.

“We’ve never had anything at the shelter for older kids,” Branch said. “We take kids with moms up to age 18. We have a play room, standard playground equipment but it’s all for little kids. This new center will give the older ones a place just for them.”

Designed to be educational and fun, the YES Center will contain TVs and video games, a foosball table or table hockey, board games, musical instruments, a small library and a computer lab.

“We may bring in a speaker. We may get someone from Hunter Army Air Base to talk about careers in the military—or someone from Gulfstream. Or someone from Armstrong or Savannah State, one of the local colleges” to talk about their offerings, Branch said. “If someone’s interested in law enforcement, we may bring in someone who talks about what you have to do to be a police officer.”

SAFE Shelter will try to cater to the requests from their youth. If a group of young people want a certain type of physical exercise, counseling service or extra activity, the shelter will do its best to provide that request to the children.

“This will be a place where kids can relax and forget about being in a shelter for a while,” Branch said. “It’s hard for anybody to be in a shelter. You’re not in your house. You’re not with your friends. It’s stressful. Our YES Center will be a place for teens to try to take the stress off.”

MORE INFORMATION ON SAFE SHELTER
Founded in 1979, SAFE Shelter Center for Domestic Violence Services is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization committed to preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and promoting positive change for families in need in our community. SAFE Shelter operates a 48-bed emergency shelter for victims of intimate partner violence and their children. All services are provided at no cost to the victim regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, immigration status, culture or religion. Leading to safe and stable lives, services include courtroom advocacy, counseling services and case management. In the shelter’s long history, no one who has been actively involved with our services or programs has been killed by his/her abuser. For more information on SAFE Shelter, visit safeshelter.org or call 912.629.0026. To reach the 24-hour crisis line, call 912.629.8888.

CONTACT
Cheryl Branch
Executive Director
SAFE Shelter
912-629-0026
director@safeshelter.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
CEO and President
Carriage Trade PR
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com

Park Place Outreach Receives $2,200 Grant for Garden Program

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(SAVANNAH, GA) Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter is excited to announce the receipt of a $2,200 grant from International Paper’s Savannah Containerboard Mill. The grant will be used for the new “Park Place Outreach Garden Project.”

The Garden Program is designed for children who live at the shelter. Many of these young people have little or no contact with their parents, and the garden will be a place where families can work together with the ultimate goal of reuniting.

“The Garden Project provides real world, hands-on opportunities for young people,” said Park Place Outreach Executive Director Linda Hilts. “Gardening is a life-long skill, a wonderful stress reliever and a fun reason to play in the dirt.”

Under the direction of a volunteer master gardener, the children will design the space, determine the best seeds to plant and maintain the garden on a daily basis. In addition to getting their hands dirty, they will learn the importance of responsibility, teamwork and their role in our environment.

“What makes International Paper unique is that we are about more than just manufacturing. We have a commitment to do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason and that directly applies to our involvement in the local community. We want the community to recognize us as neighbors, employers and environmental stewards,” said Savannah Mill Manager David Castro, International Paper. “This collaborative activity will connect youth with the environment, promote sustainable agriculture, provide a valuable life skill, and empower leadership.”

Planning and educational components will begin this fall and the first plantings will occur in early spring. As a final component of the program, Park Place Outreach plans to use the produce from the garden for developing nutritious meals, encouraging healthy eating and healthy lives for the young people at the shelter.

CAPTION: (LEFT TO RIGHT) DaShauna Kimble and Fran Wilson from Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter accept check from Jerrica Edmonds from International Paper

CAPTION: (LEFT TO RIGHT) DaShauna Kimble and Fran Wilson from Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter accept check from Jerrica Edmonds from International Paper

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ABOUT INTERNATIONAL PAPER
International Paper is a global leader in the paper and packaging industry with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and North Africa. Supporting the communities where International Paper employees live and work is an important part of the company’s vision. Their primary focus areas are environmental education and literacy, providing more than $10 million to support hundreds of community based educational, civic and cultural programs.

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come in to the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter is an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped over 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

CONTACT
Linda K. Hilts
Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621
www.parkplaceyes.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
912.844.9990

Re-Enroll in Kroger Community Rewards Program to Donate to Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter

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Local Shoppers Urged to Re-Enroll for Kroger Community Rewards Program to Continue Funding Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter and Other Local Charities

(SAVANNAH, GA) Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter is encouraging Savannah area Kroger customers participating in the retailer’s Community Rewards program to re-enroll during the month of August. Kroger requires participants to re-enroll each year to demonstrate they have an active role and interest in the program. Dollars will start accumulating for chosen organizations beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Customers can designate reward points to participating schools, charity or organization of their choice by using their Kroger Plus Card. Funds received by Park Place Outreach through the Kroger Community Rewards program benefit the Shelter, located at 514 East Henry Street, which offers teenagers a safe place to go 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It only takes a few moments to sign up, and costs shoppers nothing to participate, yet each dollar designated for Park Place Outreach makes such a positive impact in the services we can provide,” said executive director Linda K. Hilts. “Kroger customers who support us through this program help ensure that we can continue taking care of the needs of runaway, homeless and in-crisis youth in our community.”

This year, Kroger expects to donate $600,000 to local schools and nonprofits through the Kroger Plus Card-based fundraiser. To enroll or re-enroll, please visit www.krogercommunityrewards.com. For more information, contact Kroger Community Rewards at 770.496.7538 or fax details to 770.496.5354.

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come in to the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter is an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped over 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

CONTACT
Linda K. Hilts 
Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street 
Savannah, GA. 31401 
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621 
www.parkplaceyes.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade PR, Inc.
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com
912.844.9990

Youth Shelter Invites Public to Meet and Greet with Police Officers

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(SAVANNAH, GA) The Street Outreach Program at Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter invites the public to a collaborative event between the youth shelter, the Men of Liberty City Inc., and Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD) for the first annual Roll Call event taking place from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, August 1 at Liberty City Community Center, 1401 Mills B Ln Blvd.

Roll Call is designed to give citizens the opportunity to build and improve the relationship the community has with the Police Department. There is no cost to attend. Music and refreshments will be provided.

“Over the past few months the media has been circulating videos and photos of incidents involving youth and young adults being victimized by authorities,” said Kenneth Brown, Street Outreach Coordinator at Park Place Outreach, “We want to help improve the interactions between our Police Department and our community by assisting both parties in becoming familiar with one another through good food, fun games, and great music.”

This initiative to strengthen the relationship between the police and urban youth mirrors the efforts and violence reduction techniques from the “Boston Miracle,” a time when the city saw some of the steepest declines in violent crime in the country. The Boston Miracle focused on the role of young people involved in gang activity, and involved a unique cooperative arrangement between police, social workers, ministers and prosecutors. This resulted in a period of more than two years where there were no teenage homicide victims in the city. For more information on the Boston Miracle, visit https://www.ted.com/talks/jeffrey_brown_how_we_cut_youth_violence_in_boston_by_79_percent

Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter will also be supporting another event on Saturday, August 22, where the youth in the community will be able to attend workshops, panel discussions, and scenario simulations with the officers of SCMPD. For more information on Park Place Outreach, visit http://parkplaceyes.org

Flier from Park Place Outreach Roll Call event 2015

MORE INFORMATION ON PARK PLACE OUTREACH YOUTH EMERGENCY SHELTER
Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come in to the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter is an equal opportunity provider and employer. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, the Park Place Outreach Shelter has helped over 6,000 individuals. For more information, please visit http://parkplaceyes.org or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

CONTACT
Kenneth Brown
Street Outreach Coordinator
Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Shelter
(912) 234-4048
pposop514@gmail.com