What is Youth R.A.P.?
Homelessness is not just an adult problem. Far too many children are affected by the physical, emotional, and financial disruptions associated with homelessness. The Youth RAP program meets weekly and provides a variety of educational, social and skill building opportunities for past or current children associated with House of Hope CDC properties. The goal of the program is to foster personal development, academic achievement, job readiness and creativity through group activities once a week. The program also supports the development of individualized interests such as sports, music and dance instruction, camperships, etc. and assists the children in assimilating into the fabric of their community.
Youth R.A.P. helped Tiffany and Stephen
Tiffany and Stephen’s family were evicted shortly after their parents divorced. Following the eviction, they spent several holidays at the Rhode Island Family Shelter in Warwick with their mom. They faced repulsed looks from onlookers at the bus stop and at school. “When they found out we were homeless, they didn’t want anything to do with us. We lived in the shelter.”
With the help of House of Hope, their mother, Marion found an apartment. Tiffany and Stephen were able to become involved in school through House of Hope’s Youth Rap program. Youth Rap took them seal watching in Narragansett Bay and to the Boston science museum. The program also helped pay for Stephen’s little league fees and for Tiffany’s prom dress. Youth Rap provided Tiffany and Stephen with the support they needed.
Tiffany, now 24, graduated from Pilgrim High School in Warwick and won several gold medals in the Special Olympics. Stephen, 20, is a versatile athlete and a tech-savvy “nerd.” He won honors for his senior project at Warwick Veterans Memorial High School in which he envisioned placing solar panels at the Apponaug fire station. He will be graduating from the New England Institute of Technology in the spring of 2015. Marion is proud of her children and what they have achieved with the help and support from House of Hope.