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Spotlight On Homeless Youth At Womens Center Luncheon
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Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services, the primary provider of free, confidential shelter and services for homeless and runaway youth and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in San Joaquin County, will host Shahera Hyatt, MSW as the Keynote Speaker for the agency’s 38th Annual Luncheon. Hyatt is the Director of the California Homeless Youth Project (HYP), an initiative of the California Research Bureau focused on educating policymakers on the needs of homeless youth in California. The Luncheon, which serves as Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services annual fundraiser, will be held on Wednesday, March 14 at the Stockton Civic Auditorium.

While past luncheons have focused directly on sexual assault and domestic violence, this year’s Annual Luncheon will spotlight Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services’ youth shelters and services by: raising awareness of homeless youth; discussing the generational impact of violence and trauma; and ensuring the community is aware of the supportive and comprehensive services offered, free-of-charge, by Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services.

The HYP highlights issues and solutions for youth ages 12 to 24 who are living “on the edge” of homelessness or are currently homeless in California. For the past eight years, Hyatt has been the director of HYP and authored several publications on the topic of homeless youth including policy briefs for the nation’s first state action plan on ending youth homelessness, in addition to LGBT and sexually exploited youth.

The cycle of violence is real and it’s prevalent here in San Joaquin County, said center officials. Since 2012, when Women’s Center of San Joaquin merged with Family and Youth Services to become today’s Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services, the agency has seen the generational impact violence and trauma has on youth. The converging of these two longtime community agencies brought attention to the patterns of the community’s youngest victims; kids who, with a parent, sought refuge in the domestic violence shelter later began seeking services as homeless youth.

Annually, hundreds of youth obtain services from Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services. These services include: seeking refuge at the county’s only youth emergency shelter (youth 12-17 years of age); gaining independence through the county’s primary transitional living program (youth 16-21 years of age); utilizing amenities such as showers, laundry, and hot meals in the drop-in center (youth 12-21 years of age); participating in Promising Pathways, a mentorship program to support transitional aged youth; and receiving clinical therapy to promote healing of mental health, trauma, and other conditions.

For sponsorship and ticket opportunities, email Krista Fiser, Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services’ Development Director, at or by calling (209) 941-2611.

With 10 locations throughout San Joaquin County, including four homeless youth and domestic violence shelters, Women’s Center-Youth and Family Services serves nearly 20,000 individuals annually. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Women’s Center-YFS relies on donations from the local community to supplement programmatic contracts and grants in order to continue providing the highest quality of services to those in need.