Earlier this month, Encompass gathered with community partners, leaders and guests to celebrate the grand opening of the Thrive Hive, Encompass’s drop-in resource center for transition-aged youth (TAY) ages 15-24!
Simply put, Encompass is a health equity organization. We believe that everyone in our community should have access to the high-quality care and resources they need and deserve to live a healthier, more fulfilling life. That is exactly why we prioritized building the Thrive Hive.
With this center, we can significantly expand the number of youth we serve and expand the services we offer to meet the unique needs of TAY individuals in our community. Most importantly, our TAY program team worked tirelessly alongside the individuals we serve to create a trusted, welcoming place for youth to come together to build community… and truly THRIVE.
The center is designed specifically to meet the unique needs of TAY individuals in our community, including those experiencing houselessness and those who are, or have been, involved in the foster care or justice systems. Most importantly, the resource center will serve as a trusted, welcoming place for youth to come together to build community. We are honored to have worked alongside the TAY individuals we serve to identify and incorporate the following resources into our new center:
- Computers and flexible classroom spaces to host programming on key topics like motivational interviewing, resume-building, job readiness, applying for higher education and to conduct mock job interviews
- Laundry facilities and showers
- A cozy living room and flexible recreational space to offer health and wellness programming, such as meditation and creative expression classes
- A fully stocked kitchen where staff can support youth in preparing warm, healthy meals
- Case management services to establish rapport and trusting relationships and delivery of direct services assistance
- Therapeutic services, for those who qualify
We want to deliver a special thanks to our guest, youth and staff speakers for joining our grand opening celebration; for sharing what this center means for our community; and for highlighting the impact our long-running TAY Programs have had on youth across our county.
Here are just a few key highlights from the day.
Quotes from our guests and speakers:
“I remember when I first started using Encompass’s services. I was a young mom at the age of 15 and from there on I started an amazing bond with all of the staff here. I was amazed at just learning and getting the support I needed. At the age of 18, I got kicked out of the home I was living in. There were very few people that I trusted. One of those people was Encompass.” – Conny Ramirez, administrative intern for CASA of Santa Cruz County and former Encompass TAY Youth
“There should be no wrong door for any youth who needs our help. And that’s what, to me, is remarkable about the Thrive Hive. Any youth should be able to come in that door, regardless of their circumstance… and find a safe, helpful place that’s going to help them figure out where to go next and connect to the services they need the most.” – Assemblymember Mark Stone, 29th District
“The pandemic has really exacerbated many of inequities we are already aware of. Our youth are in crisis, and I can’t think of a better organization that has dedicated itself to serving [the TAY] community as Encompass… in providing mental health support and places where kids can belong, and where they can get the services they need. This place… this Thrive Hive is a physical manifestation of Encompass’s commitment to youth. This is a place for youth to THRIVE.” - Dr. Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools
“When the youth walk in through those doors, we try our very best to accompany youth in their journey. We get to share their struggles, and also their joy… we get to send love to their process every day. We hope that we can continue to be part of conversations followed by actionable items to keep our communities healthy.” – Maricela Aboytes, Encompass TAY Thrive Hive Resource Center Manager
To learn more about the Thrive Hive and all of the programs our incredible TAY team will offer in this space, visit our website at www.encompasscs.org/transition_age_youth. You can also check out the media coverage we received in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and in Santa Cruz Local.