Programs and Services Overview
p:ear provides 5 main areas of service: safe space, education, art, recreation, transition and food. These programs and services are provided by the five staff, and 120 volunteers.
Safe Space means having all of the intangible things that create stability in one’s life, from knowing that the people in your life will be there for you, to having milk in the fridge and food in your belly. Last year alone, homeless youth spent over 22,000 hours inside p:ear’s doors, with a daily average of 45 youth. p:ear served over 12,000 meals last year, provided numerous bus tickets, haircuts, community networking opportunities, referral services for clothing, counseling and mental and physical healthcare.
p:ear instills a curiosity that creates life-long learners. Through p:ear’s educational program, youth are provided individualized support, academic counseling and instruction as they prepare to successfully complete their GED and/or acquire basic academic and literacy skills. p:ear also helps seek financial aid and scholarships for those wishing to continue their education.
Art is safe. Art builds bridges. Art is one of the primary ways in which p:ear actively engages homeless youth with healthy mentoring, as well as provide opportunities for them to show and sell their work in the on-site gallery. With 10 annual Art Shows and six shows in the community, p:ear youth are positively engaging with over 2,500 art lovers each year! p:ear also gets tickets to local arts organizations (dance, music, theater) where youth get into the community, and learn to be part of the next generation of arts makers and patrons.
Experiences in the outdoor world such as cross-country skiing, spelunking, kayaking, seasonal day trips, and our annual camp p:ear, are life-changing for youth. Over 80 p:ear students experience our outdoor adventures per year, including our annual multi-day “camp p:ear”. They experience what for them is rare: relaxation, play, nature without having to sleep in it.
Over the past 5 years, p:ear has worked with over 55 youth to provide housing and rental assistance, a number that far exceeds initial goals. p:ear also offers a nationally unique, on-site barista training (p:ear barista school), in partnership with Nosssa Familia, which gives them critical job-training skills, employment opportunities.
The p:ear Kitchen and Food Program was developed to provide homeless young people with the opportunity to eat fresh, nourishing meals in a community setting. It also strives to provide the opportunity for homeless youth to learn how to prepare meals and develop a deeper understanding of the cultural, economic and social importance of food in our shared culture.