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OIM’s Youth Programs – Part 1

OIM has built a reputation for coming alongside individuals in need, showing compassion, and promoting self-esteem. The iconic red vests have become synonymous with our Street Outreach teams as they carry out this mission.

As the Youth Program Coordinator I would like to share about the several programs related to our youth department. Some of them have been around for a long time, and others are very new. These programs help youth come in off the street, foster personal growth and develop skills to help them integrate into productive members of society.

Innercity Arts “Art Group”

Innercity Arts is the flagship of our youth programs, founded in 2009. We see youth fresh off the street, several experiencing homelessness and/or dealing with mental illness, drug addiction, and isolationism. “Art group” becomes an essential support for many of these youth as they experience mentorship, safe community, food bank access, and a hot meal each week. The youth express themselves creatively in art and music and build long-lasting relationships with staff and volunteers. The youth attending Innercity Arts are also given an opportunity to join our other growing youth programs.

Innercity Fitness

Earlier this year, I was asked by one of the youth in Art group if I could create a workout plan that she could do at home without any equipment. She expressed feelings of several obstacles that were preventing her from achieving physical fitness success, “gyms are too expensive… healthy food is too expensive… I have no motivation…”. I met with management from The Fitness Lab, and they graciously offered us use of their gym for an hour each week! For the last few months youth from Art group have been taking advantage of this new program, encouraging one another as they strive to be better versions of themselves. While the physical benefits of this program are extensive, the mental benefits are equivalently superlative!

Looking Forward…

Next week Ellen will share about two other youth programs! Until then, please keep these young people in your prayers, and thank you for you’re ongoing support!

God bless,

~Jordan Levesque, Youth Program Coordinator

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