We, the undersigned, support In the Spirit of the Children. We can attest to the importance of the services they provide to some of New York City's most vulnerable youth and the positive impact they have on helping to prevent homelessness. We stand with them and the youth they serve.
Executive Director, Youth Communication
Comment: Several teen writers from Represent magazine have used ITSOC services for finding stability as they left foster care. ITSOC staff have the rare ability to be very blunt with teens about what they can (and cannot) expect as they age out, and to do so in a way that engages the teens in finding solutions to his or her challenges. In addition, we often talk with ITSOC staff to learn about new rules and regulations, and the "between the lines" information about what is happening in adolescent services that can only be gained through working closely with teens as they try to secure the services they need. Thus, ITSOC is a valuable service for teens in our program as a source of support, and for the adult staff as a source of information.
Carla Small Covington
Youth Development Coordinator
Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau
Comment: Catholic Guardian Society and Home Bureau have been involved with ITSOC for a few years and find their program to be invaluable to our youth. We have taken advantage of their expertise in knowing of services and solutions to the problems of youth who are aging out of care. CGSHB looks forward to the continuing to support ITSOC and the great services they provide to the adolescent community.
Linda Lausell Bryant
Executive Director, Inwood House
Comment: I believe that ITSOC represents a necessary safety net in the City for teens and young adults who have exited the foster care system and may find themselves in circumstances requiring housing, food and a helping hand and candid, yet nonjudgmental guidance. The cost of ITSOC's services are a fraction of what it costs when young adults are engaged in the homeless services system not to mention the toll this path takes on the young people's options for a stable, productive future. This City needs this valuable resource now more than ever in an economy that is straining even those with resources. ITSOC's services are not a handout but rather a hand, offered in partnership, with support and guidance. This hand has made all the difference for so many.
Prof. Jane M. Spinak,
Columbia Law School
Comment: The Adolescent Representation Project at Columbia Law School has represented several clients referred from In the Spirit of the Children. The support these clients receive from ITSOC is consistent and pervasive. The clients know that ITSOC is watching their backs, making sure they have the best possible options as they age out of care. ITSOC works with clients at some of the most demanding moments of their young lives, when the possibility of becoming homeless, losing public benefits and leaving the structure of the foster care system puts them at serious risk of failure. ITSOC is crucial support for many aging out youth, helping to keep them on track toward a productive adulthood.