Fort Worth, Texas, January 31, 2017 – There are currently over 1,700 teens and children in Fort Worth Independent School District who will make it to class tomorrow morning despite having no place to sleep tonight. Keith Price founded Focus on Teens to change that.
Focus on Teens is a non-profit organization that provides an all-encompassing program that focuses not only on assisting homeless teens with finding safe residence, but also ministers to the un-seen, internal problems that homelessness causes. With higher risks of sexual abuse, drug abuse, and continued homelessness as adults, the services provided by Focus on Teens are essential to breaking the cycle of despair and enabling homeless teens to build a stronger, more stable future.
“Our Program started in Dallas, Texas, where we have what is called drop-in centers, which is where some portion of the 4,000 homeless kids from DISD get to come in the morning, get something to eat if they want, and get help with their general, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical needs met. Three years ago, we had one drop in center. Now we have twelve,” Keith explains.
After serving as the Executive Director to the Austin Street Center, Price realized that there were needs that were unique to homeless teens. With the founding of Focus on Teens, Price reached a crucial demographic of the homeless population at the time when intervention is most essential. Teen homelessness is a significant factor in one’s future ability to lead a personally productive life, as defined by the individual; the individual client’s needs being the critical strategy of the organization. The Focus on Teens programs addresses these issues, as well as providing drug abuse prevention classes, suicide prevention seminars and personal one to one mentoring.
“We started two drop in shelters in Fort Worth this week and had fifty plus kids in two hours…. we’re opening up three elementary school pantries and one middle school. They’re going to get uniforms, bus passes, hygiene, gift cards, clothing…There is nothing these kids will ask for that they will not get. I don’t want kids sleeping in their car! Ever! It is a great thing, without question, to feed them, but that is not enough,“ Price says.
Synopsis of the Focus on Teens history:
The development of Focus on Teens originated with Patton Chapman and Keith Price. Both men previously held the management positions at Austin Street Center, Dallas’ largest adult homeless shelter that averages 400 individuals per night. Focus on Teens offers a holistic approach to reach teens at the early stages of homelessness. Focus on Teens is the only program in North Texas that helps provide a Drop In Center for homeless teens on high school campuses. Available to any school in DISD, and now working in the Fort Worth school district as well, FoT also offers four core program focus areas for teens, parents and teachers: Drug Abuse Prevention and Awareness, Suicide Prevention, Healthy Living (a Mental Health Awareness Seminar) and a “Get Started” Intern Program.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Keith Price at (214) 643-6047 or email at KPrice@FocusOnTeens.org.