Helping homeless youth is tough to do when they don;t know where to turn. IN San Diego, the Urban Street Angels has been housing & teaching practical skills to young people 18-24 for some years now. They build job skills through retail start=up opportunities. They have been making soap and candles, and selling them to help keep funds coming to the organization. I have participated in the program as a mentor to a young man. I am proud to say that Coaching Through Chaos is an official retailer for the 8 West.org beautiful line of soaps and candles which help fund housing and programs for San Diego’s homeless youth
You can listen tot he episode of the Coaching Through Chaos Podcast where I interviewed Urban Street Angels founder, Eric Lovett, right here: : https://coachingthroughchaospodcast.com/podcast/208-eric-lovett-8-west/
The following is a snippet from the blog post that went with the original podcast episode from 2016
Howe Urban Street Angels Started Helping Homeless Youth
The Urban Street Angels have been serving the homeless community here in San Diego. They go out 8 times per month delivering both food and hygiene kits to people in need. That’s great, right? Well, they felt they could do more, especially when they were finding that so many of the people in need of their assistance were young adults. In San Diego, there are over 3,000 homeless young people aged 18-26. Over 3,000 – just here in San Diego!!! That’s tragic! There are so many paths to homelessness at that age. It can range from having escaped an abusive household when they were younger, to having lost a job and not being able to support themselves, to having the parents abandon them, to having been raised by a homeless parent, to having “aged out” of the foster care system without knowledge or access to transitional aged youth (TAY) services.
When Eric Lovett, the Founder and Executive Director of Urban Street Angels started noticing this trend of young people living on the streets, he wanted to do more……but what?
8West is born
It started with him opening up his own home to a few of the young men to give them shelter and a place to call home. Then he would try to connect them to jobs in the community. This task, however beneficial to those few he could personally assist, was overwhelming when he thought of the need of all the other young people living on the streets. He wanted to help solve the problem, not patch it with a band-aid. He knew he needed to help find a way for these young people to not only have a place to call home, but he wanted to be able to provide them with job skills that would be not only practical but would also give them a sense of pride. He ran through a few different actual business ideas with his colleagues and eventually decided on forming a company that would make beautiful soaps and be contained within a sustainable business model. Out of this idea, the 8West company was born. The youth would get housing and food and would work at the soap company to learn the trade skills and the business skills they could use in their future life.