S.T.R.E.E.T. is an acronym for our afterschool program that supports mental health for at-risk teens:
- Survival: We provide immediate support to help them survive.
- Trust: We build relationships based on mutual respect and trust.
- Resources: We provide the resources they need.
- Education: We provide education and opportunities to rebuild self-esteem.
- Empowerment: We empower them to move forward.
- They: The results. They become productive and positive role models for their peer group and neighborhood.
The program’s mission is to eliminate barriers in our communities that expose underserved boys to the inequities of life, leaving some hopeless, afraid, uneducated, or institutionalized. S.T.R.E.E.T. works to reduce the “risk factors” in targeted neighborhoods, such as the north side of Kalamazoo. Our goal is to increase the number of boys, ages 10 to 17, who are participating in the program. S.T.R.E.E.T. also strives to decrease underage drinking and drug use among adolescents. By using a trauma-focused approach, we provide services for boys who are academically, socially, and emotionally delayed, or experience behavioral/mental health problems as a reflection of vulnerabilities in the communities in which they live. The program is structured to eliminate racial barriers and stigmas that have had a negative influence.