City, Burien Police will work with Auburn Youth Resources for homeless youth 1The City of Burien announced this week that the Burien Police Department will soon be working with Auburn Youth Resources (AYR) to help our city’s homeless youth. Even though it is headquartered in Auburn, AYR’s programs reach throughout South King County, where human services are trying hard to keep up with demand, according to the city. In addition to the Street Outreach program, AYR offers drug and alcohol counseling, GED prep, legal advice (such as helping youth navigate the appeals process of a trespass warning), and even operates a shelter. “When one of our police officers encounters a young person (ages 12-25) who might be in need of AYR services, the officer is encouraged to share AYR information with the youth and help connect them to the service, be it through AYR itself or through another agency,” Katie Whittier Trefry, Communications Officer for the city, told The B-Town Blog. “AYR provided each officer with a pocket-sized card that has a long list of regional contacts – shelters, chemical dependency resources, mental health services, domestic violence referrals, and more. The officer can make the phone call for the youth or share with the youth the contact number.” Here’s a video with more details: [youtube][/youtube] Here’s more info from the city’s announcement:

AYR’s Street Outreach program consists of a team of trained, plain-clothes personnel who spend time (2-6 hours weekly) here in Burien. They work toward establishing relationships with youth who find themselves without resources. They offer food, hygiene products, warmth items, and information on how to find help if they need it. They leave info cards in places like public bathrooms where youth might find them. And, as they come across a young person seeking shelter, they can provide transportation to their Auburn-based youth shelter. On occasion, they are able to provide bus passes. In the hours not covered by AYR’s Outreach team, Burien Police can still access their resources as mentioned above. Burien Police were provided with bracelets with AYR contact information on it, and officers are encouraged to hand them out. If they find a young person looking for shelter, Department leadership has encouraged officers to drive the youth to the shelter in Auburn if circumstances allow. If a youth younger than 18 needs shelter, AYR’s Safe Place program can step in and help 24 hours a day, every day of the year. They strive to meet the youth face-to-face within forty-five minutes of a call for assistance, anywhere in South King County.