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Sanctuary of Hope (SOH), a local nonprofit youth development and human service organization for Transitional Age Youth, will kick off National Homeless Youth Awareness Month with a virtual live event titled “Advancing Racial Equity for Justice-Involved Youth” on Monday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. on Whova.

This virtual kick-off event will feature stories of resilience by young people who experienced a housing crisis and community voices of hope and inspiration. The audience will also enjoy networking lounges, resource exhibits, opportunities to support young entrepreneurs, and photo booths.

Other events include a Virtual Open House of the SOH Adams location in South L.A. on Nov. 11th and a Virtual Open House of the Hawthorne location on Nov.17th at 10 a.m.

Since 2010, the Sanctuary of Hope has helped thousands of young people in a crisis and has advocated for racial equity system change to improve outcomes for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) youth and their communities. 

“In the throes of COVID and changing social, political, and economic climate, young people in a housing crisis are demonstrating that they can overcome and persevere through life challenges as long as they have people in their lives and a community in their corner to uplift them,” stated Janet Kelly, executive director of Sanctuary of Hope. “I am excited about this year’s theme around advancing racial equity for justice-involved youth and the juvenile justice system. Redirecting or diverting youth away from justice systems is key to racial equity and dismantling drivers of housing insecurity.”

BIPOC youth bear the brunt of justice system involvement and are disproportionately represented. Nationwide, yearly over 1 million youth will have some involvement with law enforcement or the justice system and nearly 400,000 will experience homelessness. With Los Angeles County’s commitment to the “care-first” model, there is an opportunity to make significant advancements with proven community-based interventions to end racial disparities and stop the pipeline to incarceration and homelessness.

Throughout the month, the Sanctuary of Hope will be featured on local radio stations KBLA 1580 AM and KJLH FM 102.3 to bring awareness to the issues. The community is also invited to drop by the Sanctuary of Hope’s “social action yard” on the corner of Adams & 10th Avenue, where messaging and stats about homeless youth will be featured in an eye-catching visual display during the month of November.

The final event for the month will be a “Woke Moments” podcast on November 30th, discussing the topic of “Advancing Racial Equity in the Juvenile Justice System.”

Everyone is welcome to attend and register to participate in the awareness events on SOH’s website at www.thesoh.org. Interested supporters and sponsors should email info@thesoh.org for more details.

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