As you can imagine, Huck House is a busy place. The staff are in and out of the office and the shelter. They are meeting with youth, linking them to services, logging all the necessary information, etc. Through all of this, I have been meeting each person one by one. I was able to meet Kyra this week. Kyra is our Youth Outreach Coordinator. She is one busy woman! Everyone at Huck House refers to her as the local celebrity—she knows everyone including all the kids. After speaking with Kyra, I had a better idea about how Huck House used to operate Project Safe Place when they had a better capacity. Kyra was able to recall a time where Huck House visited all our Safe Place sites with cookies in hand! Huck House is all about relationships. They value listening and most importantly prioritize it. For Safe Place, annual site visits need to be made to our Safe Place sites to ensure everyone is all in all the time. I know that to accomplish this task it is about relationship building with our sites such as the libraries and fire departments. Fostering and building these relationships over the summer will ultimately keep our sites informed and better able to serve our youth in crisis.
Over the past couple weeks; I have been seeking how else to build relationships with the community besides our Safe Place sites. I want more people and youth to know about Safe Place. I have started to reach out to local organizations that are in contact with youth to help relay our message. These organizations will be able to inform their youth about Huck House services and also Safe Place. The response so far has been incredible. One truly inspiring line came from the Department of Social Change at Ohio State (if you haven’t seen what this department does, go check it out, they rock.) In an email back, they wrote, “the work we all can do in keeping our youth safe is important and quite clearly, a group effort.”
A group effort. Building and maintaining relationships is a priority, and when Huck House does this, it keeps our Columbus youth safe.