VOICES, a one-stop-shop, staffed by former foster kids that provide critical services to transitional foster youth is celebrating the move to their new location and their third anniversary tomorrow.
“We are looking forward to showing the community our new building and about what we do here for foster care youth 16 to 24,” Program Assistant Jynessa Lazzaroni says. “I hope people will consider volunteering. Everyone has something they can teach and there is always someone interested in learning it.”
Lazzaroni says they also hope that employers in the area will attend the open house to learn about the program and possibly forge a connection that will lead to jobs for the foster youth.
VOICES works with foster care youth to connect them with resources within the community so they can build a foundation for living independently. They are funded by local, county and national grants in addition to personal donations.
They work with 20 partnering agencies to provide food, education, financial aid, housing, employment and health services. The program has become a national model for reducing jail time, homelessness, drug abuse, unplanned pregnancy and health care issues that often affect those who have been in foster care.
The youth who come to the center often hear about what they have to offer, by word-of-mouth. The safe non-judgmental peer support from a staff who has had the same experience is a main attraction.
VOICES inaugurates their new center at 714 Mendocino Ave. on Wednesday (4/11) from 4 to 7 p.m., the public is invited to tour the facility enjoy appetizers, beverages, and a performance by VOICES youth. Information: 579-4327, VoicesYouthCenter.org/Programs/Sonoma.