Promoting education, healthy lifestyles, and community involvement in public housing neighborhoods.
Providing a safe environment after school and support for educational success.
Teaching essential skills such as conflict resolution, goal setting, personal responsibility, and communication.
Assisting families to break the cycle of poverty.
Mission: The Youth Development Program is a place where school-age youth in San Marcos can go to find support and encouragement. We strive to provide our youth with the opportunity to learn many of the skills needed to become strong community leaders.
- Provide a safe environment where youth can get help with school work.
- Provide youth with the necessary support to transition into successful community leaders through encouragement, access to resources, and opportunities to talk about what they learn.
- Provide students with classes and seminars that build self-respect, teach conflict resolution, and teach leadership skills.
- Help youth learn personal responsibility, goal setting, communication skills, and the importance of community involvement.
The Youth Development Program started in 1988 by the Social Services Coordinator at the San Marcos Housing Authority as the Kids Against Drugs Program. It began in a small back room located at the C.M. Allen Homes office building. Children came in to find a place where they could do their homework, talk with friends, play games, and find a smiling face to welcome them.
Today, the Youth Development Program serves about 90 youth at three different sites. Each site provides tutors and mentors, homework assistance, Wii or X-Box game consoles, and a computer lab. The PODER Learning Center at the Allen Woods Homes includes a game room with a pool table and electronic darts. There is also a recording studio complete with various musical instruments. The KAD Korner Store, our Resident Services Center at the C. M. Allen Homes, includes a store, supported by resident volunteers, to raise funds in support of the program.
All sites include the Kid’s Cafe, a program sponsored by the Capital Area Food Bank and Feeding America. Through their generous assistance, we are able to provide nutritious, hot meals four days at week to growing children who might otherwise be snacking on junk. The program includes nutrition education.
Youth in Public Housing, in many cases, have a different vision of their future than that of their wealthier peers. We work to expand the horizons of all the youth that go through our Youth Development program and encourage them to see what is possible through hard work, determination, honesty, and community service. We aim to mold our youth into future leaders that can bring us the best future possible.