Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development


The Outreach Program and "PAPPAS PLACE" Drop-In Center  

The problem of youth homelessness is growing as our population grows. It is estimated that 5,000 youth are homeless in Arizona each year. These youth have often suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment and many other problems which cause them to be resistant to intervention. The systems designed to protect children are often unable to reach this population. In addition to the under age 18 homeless youth, there are many youth ages 18 to 21 who have aged out of the juvenile justice and foster care systems and have been released as adults to survive on their own. However, they are unable to access adult services until they are 21. These youth have no where to go.

Outreach includes street Outreach, a Drop-In Center and four collaborative projects:

 Outreach is a mobile service dedicated to our homeless youth, up to age 22, that live on our city streets. Our Outreach staff fills our van with food, drinks, bus tokens, blankets, hygiene packets, first aid supplies and information packets. The staff drives to parts of town where homeless youth congregate once a day, five days a week. Our staff walks the streets, offering the youth our supplies, transportation to shelter and counseling. We attempt to track the youth and build a rapport with them. We encourage them to consider developing a plan to get off of the streets at a pace that is acceptable to them. These youth often do not trust adults or the systems that have failed them in the past. It takes time to build a trusting relationship with them before they will work with us. We also invite them to visit our Drop-In Center.

 "PAPPAS PLACE" Drop-In Center houses a full range of services for homeless youth, ages 9-22, in Maricopa County. This unique Center, open seven days a week, provides the transition between our street outreach work and shelter for the youth. It is difficult to develop relationships with the youth through the limited contact during our street Outreach. Outreach workers can offer the young people they meet on the streets a safe, drug-free environment to visit during the day. The Center offers many services including meals, clothing, showers, medical services, education, job placement, case management and counseling. Each youth gets three free visits, and then must commit to a treatment plan to continue accessing services. The youth works with our casemanagers and Job Developer on a treatment plan that helps them set realistic goals.

Center hours: Monday to Thursday: 8 am to 8 pm

                       Friday: 8 am to 6 pm

                       Saturday & Sunday: 9 am to 3 pm

Another component of our Outreach program includes four partnerships with other agencies. Please see partnerships for more information on these projects.