Youth and young adults in Ketchikan report they are in need of trusted adults, access to support services, and a safe place to gather. Data reveal nearly 50% of high school students do not have 3 or more trusted adults in their lives, 1 in 9 high school students attempted suicide in 2018, and 1 in 8 youth live below poverty in Ketchikan. Young people often feel unseen, unheard, and disconnected from the larger community.
Ketchikan youth face many challenges made harder by our geography and climate as well as the siloed way we deliver support services. Community partners are working together to design a community youth center which will deliver services and support in a coordinated and collaborative way. We envision a safe, welcoming space for youth (ages 15-21) where they will be provided with connections to a network of support services, youth programming, and caring adults. We plan to call the center: SeaLevel.
At the place where water meets land - this, the current and ancestral land of the Tlingit who have been living here since time immemorial - many feel a sense of calm and potential. It's a place to reflect on and learn from the past, and a place to look ahead and imagine what's possible. At SeaLevel, young people will be supported in the ways they need most, guiding them to build a successful future for themselves and for the community. Our youth center design will empower young people to feel valued, connected, and respected so they feel capable of contributing to the Ketchikan community.
"Children, after all, are not just adults-in-the-making. They are people whose current needs and rights and experiences must be taken seriously. "
Our Mission to Provide
On-site easy access to food, laundry, shower, clothes, and safe places to rest. Free internet, charging stations, and computer access.
PEER SUPPORT AND YOUTH PROGRAMMING
Positive and healthy peer network and youth-centered programming in a safe, enjoyable, and engaging environment. This will allow young people access the space as they are, develop positive relationships, and maintain a culture of care and compassion in the center.
Employment support - training, trade, certification and other economic opportunities to help young adults elevate out of poverty. Staff can help with documentation and facilitate workforce development and training opportunities. Educational support - tutoring, school re-engagement, college applications, basic adult education. And much more.
Professional and trusted adults, trained peer advocates, and talented community partners will be trained in Trauma-Informed Care, the Transition to Independence Process Model, and Healing Centered Engagement. This will allow staff to create a culture of compassion with consistent methods of youth engagement.
EMBEDDED PROGRAM PARTNERS
Hub location for drop-in service providers like public health, behavioral health, substance use treatment, housing search support, and advocacy.