Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY) meets the urgent needs of at-risk youth and their families in Washington, DC.

Sasha Bruce Youthwork strives to improve the lives of runaway, homeless, abused, neglected and at-risk youth and their families in the Washington area. We achieve this by providing shelter, counseling, life skills training and positive youth development activities to approximately 1,500 youth and 5,000 family members each year. Sasha Bruce Youthwork seeks to support and empower vulnerable young people and families. Our approach is focused on the family and based on our clients’ competencies. Indeed, our counselors are trained not to diagnose pathologies, but to identify and build on the strengths of each young person and family. SBY works to provide youth with the tools they need to curb high-risk behaviors, stabilize their living situations, and lead meaningful and productive lives. A person who believes he can change and who can envision a different life can make that desire real.

SBY provides help wherever it’s needed—on the street, in its shelters, or at the homes of young people and families who are struggling. Serving a community where institutions and systems are broken and young people and their families are struggling to overcome obstacles, SBY uses proven youth development practices to help youth find new ways of surviving, thriving, and realizing success. With more than 30 years of experience meeting the growing needs of DC’s youth and families with innovative programs, Sasha Bruce Youthwork is always willing to listen and ready to help.

There are many successes at Sasha Bruce Youthwork, and one of our clients would like to tell you in her own words how her life has been changed for the better:

My name is Khadiijah Johnson and I have been participating with Zocalo for over one year. When I first began working with Zocalo Outreach I had just left a shelter. It was scary living in a shelter, I almost never got sleep and I never felt comfortable there. I was able to leave the shelter since Zocalo Outreach helped me to find housing. I moved into a one bedroom apartment.

When I met with my counselor we talked about my goals and what I wanted for my future. I never really gave much thought until that point. I knew I wanted to get my life together and start working. I had an internship through a program but I did not make enough to pay for an apartment.

I soon got a job working at Macy’s and I have been here almost a year now and I love working. Most of all, I love going home to my own space. I no longer have to worry about where I will sleep; I actually have my own bed.

My life has changed so much since working with Zocalo Outreach. I once was just a person waiting on line to get a bed at the shelter and now I have a sense of purpose. Becoming homeless happened so fast, one second I had a place to go and then it felt like it was taken right from under my feet. Now that I am working, I am confident that I will be able to take care of myself in the future. I have worked with my counselor to feel more secure about the decisions I make and my life as a whole. I know someday when I have children I want to provide them with things I never had. No one ever spent a lot of time helping me with my goals and sometimes I felt like I didn’t know where to go. Ever since I have met with my counselor I can now say that I have a home, a job, and a future.

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