Helping to heal the world… one teen at a time
OUR GOAL was to provide Kenai Peninsula teens with basic necessities to help protect them from the elements, meet their basic hygiene needs, and simply to help bolster their self esteem and sense of dignity, in order to help them stay in school or continue work.
TEENS TEND TO BE A FORGOTTEN GROUP in the growing homeless situation in our Kenai Peninsula Borough community.
Sturdy backpacks allow them to carry their belongings with them at all times, and lessens the risk of having donated items lost or stolen. While we recognize that backpacks are not a solution to homelessness, they can provide short-term care and comfort. Each pack included a letter wishing them well and signed by all the packers.
WHO IS A HOMELESS TEEN?
–Middle school and high school students living
with their families in shelters, motels, or cars.
–Teens staying with different friends each night.
–Teens on their own with no access to shelters or homes of friends.
The Backpack Project was a service of the Last Frontier Freethinkers
and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under the umbrella of Bridges Community Resource Network Inc , so the donations were tax-deductible.
We would like to thank all those who donated and participated in this project with us.
Unfortunately our Homeless Teen Backpack project has concluded. Our project manager had an abrupt life change not long after the pandemic started so she no longer had time to manage the project. We were already having issues with getting the bags distributed by Students in Transition because of our logo on the bags. Our board decided in June 2020 to donate what bags we had left (150) to another worthy cause called The Kenai Peninsula Reentry Coalition (KPRC). The purpose of KPRC is to connect re-entrants to the services and programs they need, through in-reach and aftercare, to enable their success once released into our community. This coalition is made up of organizations who can help individuals access much needed services like assistance with behavioral health treatment and job training, as well as law enforcement and policymakers, all with the goal of justice reform and reducing recidivism. They hope to still give our bags to youth re-entrants.
50 homeless youth in the Kenai Peninsula Borough received a life-supporting backpack filled with crucial items through the Homeless Teen Backpack Project.
EACH BACKPACK CONTAINED a bath towel, socks, a zippered kit of toiletries, a first aid kit, a water bottle, spoon and fork, flashlight, a Mylar blanket or rain poncho, school supplies (in August), healthy snack bars, and many other items.
To continue the work of helping youth in crisis in our community please consider the following organizations…
Students in Transition: https://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/departments.aspx?id=140
Kenai Alternative High School: https://kenaialternativehigh.blogs.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/
Choosing Our Roots: http://www.choosingourroots.org/#about
Kenai Peninsula Reentry Coalition: https://www.facebook.com/peninsulareentry/