Get Involved

Homeless Youth Connection has numerous volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups. Volunteers bring the skills and knowledge of the community together to provide additional resources to our youth that would otherwise not be available due to funding and staffing.

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Mentors are community volunteers that work with individual teens to provide guidance and support while in the HYC program.  Mentors assist the youth with their plan for the future.  Most students want to go to college, enter the military or participate in a vocational training program.  Working with the case managers, mentors help the youth create a plan to achieve their goals.  In addition, mentors help the youth with basic life skills such as how to create a budget, options for housing after they finish high school and employment opportunities.  HYC offers Life Skills classes and employment assistance.  The mentor reinforces what the students learn in those classes and helps them apply this knowledge in the real world.

Typically mentors meet with their students for a few hours a couple of times a month.  We encourage the mentor to attend the school visit when the youth meets with the case manager.  This allows everyone to understand what the student is focusing on for that month, as well as what needs to be worked on and what are the goals.

All mentors participate in a training, complete a fingerprinting and background check and must provide references.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please complete the attached application and email it to mwalker@hycaz.org.

For more information please contact Mindi Walker at mwalker@hycaz.org or 623-374-3747.

Host Family

Host homes are similar in concept to a foreign exchange student program.  Host families provide unaccompanied youth with a stable living environment while they complete high school.

We are looking for persons or families who would like to help by providing a place to stay so that a homeless high school student can continue attending school. The goal of the program is to provide safe, stable, supervised homes for homeless high school students ages 16 to 21.

HYC will establish partnerships between school organizations, service organizations and the ecumenical community within each school district to establish the host homes and provide a support network to assist with transportation, tutoring, meals and other needs.  Once a host home has been recruited, background checked and trained, the ongoing challenge is to retain their services.  Because ongoing support and communication is essential, a HYC case manager will meet with the host family and the youth on a monthly basis.  In addition to making sure that basic needs continue to be met, such as food and clothing, the discussion will also include school attendance, participation, and if tutoring is needed.  The meeting will also allow for discussion about how everyone is getting along and if there are any challenges.  Open, honest communication is an important factor in the success of the relationship, and the case manager can help facilitate and encourage this dialogue during the visit.

If you are interested in becoming a host family, please complete the attached application and email it to mwalker@hycaz.org.

For more information please contact the Mindi Walker at mwalker@hycaz.org. or 623-374-3747.

Student Ambassador

Student Ambassadors are individual students from each high school that want to volunteer to help increase HYC’s awareness among the student population by creating and implementing donation drives and participating in fundraising events. Student Ambassadors help educate students about homelessness.  They can also help encourage youth who may need assistance to contact their counselor or HYC for services. Student Ambassadors demonstrate strong leadership skills, good follow through and have great communication skills. Social networking is a plus.  You can view more about what a Student Ambassador would do by clicking here to download the program description.

If you are interested in becoming a student ambassador, please complete the attached application and email it to cbogart@hycaz.org.

GATAC – Give a Teen a Chance

How can you make a difference?

HYC is engaging community members to invest in homeless youth, empowering them to reach their full potential and become successful, contributing members of our community.

Investing in a youth is not just about providing monetary support – it is about becoming a champion for a youth by providing homeless teens with housing, basic needs and services as they make positive, life-affirming choices toward becoming responsible, productive adults.

As a sponsor, you will receive regular updates on the progress of “your youth” and see how your support is impacting his or her life.

Sponsorship for Give a Teen a Chance is $1,000 a year – less than $85 a month.

For more information contact Dawn Bogart at 623-374-3747 or 602-565-3218 or dbogart@hycaz.org.

Teen Exchange

Host a clothing, hygiene, or school supply drive.  We are always looking for students, individuals or organizations to host a drive at their school, company, church, or in their neighborhood.  It’s an easy, fun and rewarding community service project.  Just pick a type of item you want to collect, place collection bins in handy locations, create posters and advertise on social media about your efforts, then bring the items to HYC.  You can find out more about doing a donation drive by clicking here.

Volunteers are occasionally needed to sort, organize and display generous large donations of clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items HYC receives from the community.  The donations need to be organized so the youth can come in and select the items they need.  In addition, twice per year HYC needs volunteers to assist with a complete inventory of the Teen Exchange.

Other Ways to Volunteer

Office & Administrative Assistance
Volunteers are needed to assist with general administrative responsibilities such as answering the phones, accepting and recording donations, data entry and secretarial support. Friendly, great customer service skills, detailed-oriented and knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel is helpful.

Special Events
HYC depends on volunteers to help coordinate special events.  Volunteers assist with setup and tear-down, registration and various activities.

Volunteer Driver
Most of our students lack transportation.  While our case managers do their best to get the students where they need to go, our staff is small, and we can’t always be available.  We depend on volunteers to help pick up and drop off students at counseling appointments, doctor appointments, and the like.  These students live all over the valley, and appointments may be after hours or on weekends, so some flexibility is required with availability and willingness to travel.

For more information about any of these opportunities, please contact Chance Bogart at cbogart@hycaz.org or 623-374-3747.