Partner Spotlight: Florida Keys Children’s Shelter
Helping Kids and Families get Back on Track
The Florida Keys Children’s Shelter (FKCS) recognizes that everyone deserves a chance to shine. As a new National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM) partner, FKCS is shining a light on the issues faced by youth who have runaway and those who have experienced homelessness in Monroe County, Fla.
Since 1985, FKCS’s programs have helped and counseled thousands of children and families from Key Largo to Key West. They operate the only licensed emergency shelter for ages 0-18 in the Florida Keys and the only federally-funded drop-in center for ages 21 and under in the area.
Additionally, FKCS provides free, personalized counseling, coaching, and education to empower individuals to live up to their highest potential. And, their new, highly anticipated Key West Transitional Living Program (TLP) welcomes young adults, ages 18 to 22 years old, who may be homeless, aging out of foster care, or in other situations that limit self-sufficiency.
“People often imagine the Keys to be a paradise devoid of common problems found in cities across the country,” said Lynda Weinstein, Development Director at FKCS. “The Keys, however, aren’t immune to challenges, such as youth homelessness. In fact, we find many people come to the Keys seeking a better life, but quickly find themselves struggling due to the high cost of living and low wages.”
Facing financial pressures, tension at home, and other concerns, approximately 500 youth and families turn to FKCS for help each year. In partnership with organizations, schools, and programs throughout the area, FKCS responds to youth and families’ needs with vocational training, life skills coaching, counseling, access to shelter, and other resources designed to keep people on track and off the streets.
“At our Key West TLP, many young people simply want to be heard,” said Giordan Pinzon, Case Manager & Community Outreach Specialist, at FKCS.
As a new NRPM partner, the FKCS team used the campaign toolkit to plan their NRPM activities. With a strong social media following, they are sharing news and information on Facebook and will participate in several national events.
We are proud to welcome Florida Keys Children’s Shelter into the National Runaway Prevention Month partner community and applaud them for their efforts to help youth feel supported and empowered.
For more information about Florida Keys Children’s Shelter, visit fkcs.org.