Homeless, abused and neglected youth in New Mexico and surrounding states have a safe place to call home, thanks in part to a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Managing Information with Rural America (MIRA) initiative.
In 2000, funding from the MIRA grant helped establish a Web site and provide computer services for the GreenTree Project. The mission of the project is to promote the healing of spirit, mind and body in children, youth and families, in order to build a healthy community where students will be able to pursue their dreams. The program provides housing and life-skills curriculum to youth age 16-24.
The MIRA grant ended in 2001, but the GreenTree Project was able to secure additional funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as private funding sources and community organizations.
The program has expanded to serve 56 youth in the on-site facility as well as countless others who have benefited from the numerous support services. DreamTree Project also is involved in a number of community activities including sponsoring local youth forums on issues such as teenage violence.
The on-site Transitional Living Program can house up to 8 youth at a time. Most of the young adults have been living in unsafe conditions or left unsafe situations because of substance and/or physical abuse. Many of the students are referred by social workers. The program provides young adults with education, job training and counseling. In return, they are asked to contribute a portion of their salary to cover rent and to assist with the meals. The end goal is to help the young adults become self-supporting, contributing citizens.
“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant was particularly useful in helping us establish a Web site and to provide group training in computer literacy, Web design and other Internet services for the Transitional Living Participants,” says Beth Goldman, GreenTree Project grantwriter.
For additional information on the GreenTree Project, visit their Web site at: www.dreamtreeproject.org, or call (505) 758-9595.