August 2020 Newsletter

Diverse group of five happy youth posing for the camera
Diverse group of five happy youth posing for the camera

Help give joy to children in the care of relatives by supporting VOA Alaska’s school supply drive. The return to school will look different for many this year, but the need for basic school supplies remains.

In Alaska today, more than 16,000 children are being raised by grandparents or other relative caregivers. These families have unique needs and VOA Alaska’s Kinship Family Program is there to meet these needs.

Our team provides a variety of support services to connect families with available community and social resources, while also offering case management and financial assistance to address emergent needs as they arise.

A central component of the Kinship Family Program is our monthly support group, which offers families an opportunity to connect with others in similar circumstances. Guest speakers are often invited to share their wisdom on community resources, life skills, and parenting tips. During the pandemic, the gatherings have turned to a digital format, and are currently focused on providing educational and community resources like injury prevention, family court resources, and obtaining legal guardianship assistance.

All Kinship services are provided at no cost to the families, thanks to support from grant funding, generous community supporters, and partnerships with organizations such as the Alaska Family Resource Center and Alaska Legal Services Corporation.

Interested in supporting these brave families as they navigate the return to school this fall? Visit our website to make a donation online.

Updates on VOA Alaska Programs

Youth Supportive Housing

A key component of our Youth Permanent Supportive Housing program is helping transition-age youth develop the skills to live independently. To support this, clinician, Luigia Goodman recently taught an “Adulting 101” series over Zoom.

For the “Smart Shopping Skills” lesson featured below, Luiga worked with the youth to set a grocery shopping budget, then brainstormed what ingredients they’d need for their favorite meals. Inside the store, she helped the youth see price differences between brands and discussed discounts and nutrition. She also covered COVID-19 safety protocols to practice when going out and about in the community.

Youth Behavioral Health

Our clinicians and support staff continue to meet and exceed the challenges of ever changing mandates and guidelines. Following CDC and local government guidance, VOA Alaska staff are available to provide essential services and supports in-person on a case-by-case basis. These supports are also available virtually for group and 1-on-1 sessions. Is there a youth in your life who could benefit from some extra support and care? Visit our website to learn more about VOA Alaska’s services and how to get started.

Public Health & Prevention

As we head into another school year, VOA Alaska has tobacco prevention back-to-school swag bags available for interested community members.  So far, we have given away 20 bags! The bags include tobacco prevention wristbands, comic books, pamphlets, notebooks, pens, pencils, and a stress puffin.

In July, our Prevention Team gave away over 80 alcohol and prevention pamphlets, 10 completed Narcan kits, and 20 medication deactivation and disposal bags. We have tons of prevention resources and are actively looking for organizations and events to partner with.

An investment in VOA Alaska is an investment in evidence-based
recovery and housing services that promote healthy communities.