We have photos and video from the 5th Annual 'Bunny Hop' fundraiser at The Garage for you today. Original photos can be downloaded from Flickr if you see some you want to save or post elsewhere. Please just credit the Bunny Hop in some way. More can be seen on Instagram using #bunnyhopslc.
Everyone involved with the Bunny Hop wants to thank those who came out this year to support. Especially the many sponsors, volunteers, DJ's (9 total), performers and staff who made it come together in fine style.
With your help we raised over $3K for the Volunteers of America, Utah – Homeless Youth Resource Center. Twice what we raised last year!
A little about what this VOA chapter does:
YOUTH HOMELESSNESS IS ON THE RISE. Last fiscal year, Volunteers of America, Utah’s Homeless Youth Resource Center served 944 individual homeless youth, 80% of whom are from Utah. The majority of these homeless youth suffered from verbal, physical and sexual trauma by those who are supposed to love and protect them. They often reported having parents and caretakers who were addicted to drugs, involved in criminal activity, incarcerated and/or abusive. Economic stress has also been shown to increase violence and substance use in families, resulting in more youth fleeing their homes. Other youth have been kicked out of their homes, have run away from the hurt and/or find themselves alone without resources. About 75% of youth served report physical and sexual abuse, whereas 25% aged out of the foster care system.
These are our most vulnerable youth, age 15-24, who live on our streets, camp in our foothills and have nowhere to go. So we go to them. We bring them food and clothing. Check on their safety. Gain their trust. So eventually, they’ll come to us. At first, it might just be to shower, or do laundry at our Youth Resource Center. Many will stay in our emergency shelter. And once we build a relationship, we can do more than meet their basic needs. We can help them complete their education. Seek employment. Find housing. And get the mental health and addiction counseling they need. This building will enable us to best serve their needs by providing quality, one-on-one time to help them on the path to self-sufficiency.
The VOA has a proposed new location on 9th S. and 400 W. in Salt Lake they are hoping to build in the coming year. You can read more about their mission and the proposed facility in this small brochure online.
THE CENTER SEEKS TO PROVIDE A SAFE TRUSTING ENVIRONMENT FOR HOMELESS YOUTH AND HELP BEGIN THE PROCESS OF MOVING OUT OF HOMELESSNESS AND ONTO THE PATH OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY.