GRANT #408:


Some Kids Really Need To Hear “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” (Evidence Is Good Too)

Loss and grief are especially hard on teenagers, who already have plenty of emotions. This week’s AWB grant will help to sustain a weekly one-hour grief support group for young people ages 12-18, offering a safe, creative, and welcoming environment. Did we mention these young people don’t have permanent housing? YOU ARE NOT ALONE serves those in temporary emergency housing at youth and family shelters.

Weekly, one hour support groups are held at a children’s grief center named Gerard’s House in Santa Fe, NM. For almost a quarter of a century, Gerard’s House has been a safe place for children, teens, and families to talk about their grief, especially in peer groups. One-on-one grief support sessions are also available to all participants.

The death of – or separation from — a parent, sibling, or someone close can be devastating for anyone, and homeless youth have disproportionately experienced the deaths of parents, siblings, grandparents. Some have had friends die in street violence or overdose. They can feel unwanted by a new step-parent or be asked to leave their homes after claiming their sexual orientation or gender identity. Woven within all these reasons and experiences of homelessness are the many threads of grief and loss. Caring facilitators at Gerard’s House listen, respect, nurture and support them as they share their stories of grief and loss, and allow teenagers experiencing homelessness to know they are not alone.

Resources on Gerard’s House website might help you (or a young person you know) navigate the terrible territory of grief. We also highly recommend prior grantees Modern Loss and The Dinner Party for more resources and support. We’re sorry for your loss, whatever it may be.