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PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: FENIX YOUTH PROJECT
Empowering youth and creating leaders.
In 2013, when Amber Green founded Fenix Youth Project, the issues leading to youth homelessness and the prevalence of young people living on the streets were rarely considered in her city and the nearby rural communities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. A lot has changed in eight years.
Today, government officials and nonprofit organizations in Wicomico County are committed to preventing young people from becoming chronically homeless, offering more shelter options and support services to homeless youth. Many of these improvements can be credited to Fenix Youth Project, an organization that has become an integral part of the region’s conversations about youth homelessness.
Fenix Youth Project is a safe space for young people to realize their creative potential, live fuller lives, and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities. Fenix’s mission is to encourage community service and positive activities within the youth community, engaging them through creative arts.
While Fenix has always focused on youth development and artistic programs, over time, the organization has broadened its programming to offer case management focused on physical and mental health issues as well as preparing youth for employment. Soon they will also open a 16-bed emergency shelter.
The Arts & Media Drop-In Center is central to Fenix’s programs. Here youth have access to tools and resources that enable them to impact social change. They are able to record music, create art, design multi-media projects, participate in poetry writing workshops, perform during Open Mic Nights, and much more. These creative tools help divert youth from destructive choices and provide an alternative way to have fun, serve their community, and express themselves.
“Our goal is to empower youth to get out of survivor mode and move into a thriving mode,” said Amber. “We’ve seen firsthand how art and culture can activate change, and we are proud of the young people who have utilized our services, become effective leaders, and created richer lives for themselves.”
Fenix Youth Project became a National Runaway Prevention Month partner in 2020 and returned to support this year’s campaign. With an eye towards educating others and raising awareness, they have secured a proclamation from officials in the City of Salisbury and Wicomico County, had several local buildings light up in green, engaged the Mayor’s office on Wear Green Day, hosted the Lower Shore Sleep Out, conducted a TV interview on their local ABC station, and consistently posted NRPM content on social media.
We applaud Fenix Youth Project for their efforts to support youth experiencing homelessness and to help young people succeed, and we appreciate their ongoing support of NRPM.