Local Communities Step Up to Support Our Youth Shelters

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The pandemic has presented challenges for everyone. Major adjustments have been made as families navigated sheltering in place together. While being confined to the house during quarantine hasn’t been fun for anyone, struggling youth are deeply feeling the effects. Without being able to access their regular support systems, teens in dangerous mental health and physical safety situations have even fewer resources during this time.
Waymaker’s Youth Shelters programs provide housing services for teens in crisis in Orange County and offer 24-hour supervision in a supportive, home-like environment. The program aims to achieve the recovery and stabilization for children after a suicide attempt or threat, family strengthening and reunification, homeless prevention, diversion of at-risk youth from the juvenile justice system, and school drop-out prevention.
These Youth Shelters have remained open to those with the most critical need—and all other Waymakers’ programs remain fully operational—with staff implementing social distancing, client health screenings, enhanced sanitizing procedures and creating innovative service delivery patterns that adhere to the restrictions mandated by COVID-19 to meet the needs of all clients. Our Youth Shelters continue to teach youth ages 11-17 and their families key coping skills that will not only help them become resilient throughout this global pandemic, but also throughout their lives.
At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Waymaker’s made a call for help, and the communities of Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Tustin answered in a big way receiving wonderful donations from a variety of sources, and we wouldn’t have been able to continue operations without the generous and giving hearts of our community. In addition to monetary donations, here are just some of the items we received:
Tustin Shelter Donations
Meals including weekly lunches and dinners
Washable and reusable face masks
Jersey Mike’s lunch boxes for all of April
Ping pong table, bean bag, books and other activity items
Household essentials such as soap, toilet paper and paper towels
Huntington Beach Shelter Donations
Meals including weekly lunches and dinners
Washable and reusable face masks and face shields
Donuts, bread and other baked goods (non-homemade)
New comforters and pillows
Household essentials such as soap, toilet paper and paper towels
Hand sanitizer, Lysol sanitizing wipes
Pizza nights
School and Art Supplies
Laguna Beach Shelter Donations
Meals including weekly lunches and dinners
Washable and reusable face masks
Pizza nights
Comfort kits
Household essentials such as soap, toilet paper and paper towels
House repairs and the needed supplies
We are so proud to provide essential services to vulnerable individuals in Orange County, especially during this difficult time when it is needed most, and it would not be possible with the help of our neighbors, supporters and generous community. As the pandemic continues, more and more youth will likely need to access our services. If you’d like to help with an item donation, here are some of our current needs:
Alcohol swabs
Disinfecting wipes
Gas and Grocery Store Gift Cards
Gloves
Hand-held vacuum
Lysol aerosol sprays
Meal donations (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Swiffer Wet Mop refills
Sunscreen (body and face)
Monetary donations are also always welcome! If you’d like to make a donation, please call 949-494-4311 or email youthshelter@waymakersoc.org for Laguna Beach or Tustin, or call 714-842-6600 or email Elsa Greenfield at egreenfield@waymakersoc.org for Huntington Beach. Thank you again to our wonderful Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Tustin communities!

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