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Grant Money to Help Homeless Youth | Charity

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Grant Money to Help Homeless Youth

A new grant from a banking giant is being used to expand services at a homeless youth center.

Bank of America awarded the Partnership for Homeless Youth its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative grant. The $200,000 grant will be used at the group’s center at Tropicana Boulevard and Maryland Parkway. The money will be used to increase the size of the center and expand the types of services offered.

“Families have been forced to make very difficult decisions and had to double up, go live with other families, which in turn exacerbates the homelessness phenomenon,” Director Arash Ghafoori said.

One of the kids the center is helping is 19-year-old Aaron Kik. He would spend three or four days of the week staying at friends’ houses because his mother was not around.

“At one time she had seven boyfriends and that is why she'd be gone five days out of the week, because she would be bouncing around to each person to get money out of them each day,” Kik said.

The grant money will be used to help kids like Aaron with art and music rooms, a full-service kitchen and a career center.

“They just need that little bit of support and assistance so they can have a fighting chance as they go into adulthood,” Ghafoori said.

Ghafoori adds that to get community support, it is important to know who kids like Aaron really are, and how helping fund their operations is vital to these kid's success. The new building is set to be finished in six months.