Friday, May 19th was a beautiful day in Hayward, and a perfect day to celebrate! It was an Open House for the BOSS Meekland House for Transition Age Youth (TAY).
This group of young adults includes a disproportionate number of individuals who have aged out of the Foster Care System. These youths are often thrust into the world with inadequate, inappropriate, or no support system, and therefore disengage, fall through the cracks, and end up in homelessness, addiction, and unchecked mental health issues. Meekland provides permanent housing to these youth, with on-site support to address health, income and social needs.
The Open House was a showcased event as part of Affordable Housing Week held annually by East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO)! Guests enjoyed light refreshments, and staff and residents sported special ‘Team Meekland’ t-shirts! The theme of this year’s Affordable Housing Week is Together for Housing Justice, and EBHO is co-sponsoring a variety of fantastic educational and community building events to showcase local housing initiatives.
Dan Scarola, Board President for BOSS, spoke and thanked the BOSS staff for their dedication, EBHO for their support to it community, and Meekland residents for their hard work and determination to succeed. He talked about the need for more programs to help this population.
Liz Varela, Board Member of EBHO and Executive Director for Building Futures with Women and Children (BFWC), spoke thanking all the community members in attendance and recognizing the necessity of the Meekland Transition Age Youth program. She quoted a friend as saying that, “Social justice is housing justice; housing justice is social justice!” True words indeed.
Kevin, a resident at Meekland shared that “this program has really helped me open up and start to trust people.” Staff member Nicole Sanders, who has worked closely with Kevin, was praising and recognizing his hard work and dedication as he has really blossomed at the facility and embraced change. Nicole stated that when Kevin was first placed in the program he was reluctant to interact with staff any more than was absolutely necessary. He has become a member of ‘Team Meekland’, which is constituted of staff, community leaders, and peer mentors. Kevin wants to be a peer mentor, and his commitment to the future is going far to get him to that goal.
Thank you to all the individuals and organizations who came together to support the young adults who reside at our Meekland location, and who fight every day to protect and create affordable housing. We couldn’t have done this without you!
This population is in desperate need of support. If you want to help, you can make a donation through our Crowdrise page, or check out the Donation Page on our website to donate items or funds to us directly!