Sanctuary of Hope (SOH) convened its summer conversations series event on “Family Instability and Reunification”, an authentic dialogue about family dynamics that may lead to a youth leaving home on June 27, at Holman United Methodist Church.
The event consisted of two informative panels focused on family strengthening and youth development that was moderated by Earl Edwards, Graduate Researcher at the University of California Los Angeles. The first panel, comprised of the family of Nupor Cole and Dawson Collins and SOH’s life coach Myson Way, shared their lived experiences of family separation, youth homelessness, and undergoing reunification.
The second thought leader panel included Brent Burton of 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, Beatriz Villareal of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Sanea Smith of Homeless Outreach Integrated Care System, and Reba Stevens, Los Angeles County DMH Commissioner who gave perspectives on the state of the family in addition to leveraging community resources to support various family compositions in times of crisis.
Throughout the morning, the audience received golden nuggets of wisdom from the event’s Master of Ceremonies and radio personality, Wes Hall. Moreover, the audience walked away with a glimpse of SOH’s Family Connect program that helps youth, ages 16 – 25, who left or ran away from strained family or household situations reconnect with their families.
Families are spending less time together. On average, the American family spends 37 minutes of quality time and less than 12 minutes of dinner time together due to the high demands of balancing work and household responsibilities. Family conflict and neglect are key drivers of youth homelessness.
“Today’s gathering was about leveraging our village in times of crisis,” explained Janet Denise Kelly, Executive Director of Sanctuary of Hope. “Our community, people, access, assets, and support systems are the connections we need to support our families and youth in healing and wellness.”
Click here to view photos from Conversations on Family Instability and Reunification.