Community Youth Outreach Alliance recognized at annual event in Houston

HOUSTON – The Community Youth Outreach Alliance, formed by three Montgomery County organizations in 2014, is being recognized today with the Steve Wick Innovative Program Award from Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS). TNOYS, which is dedicated to supporting critical services for young Texans and their families, presented the award at its 33rd annual statewide conference at Houston’s Westin Galleria, in recognition of the contributions that have been made by the three members of the Alliance — Montgomery County Youth Services, Angel Reach, and CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County.


“The Community Youth Outreach Alliance has adopted an innovative and collaborative approach by pooling resources to serve youth experiencing homelessness,” said Christine Gendron, executive director of TNOYS. “We can’t think of a better project to honor during this year’s conference, which celebrates the theme of being ‘Stronger Together.’”


At a time when the systems that serve Texas’ most vulnerable young people are facing critical challenges, youth services professionals are increasingly looking for new, innovative ways to ensure youth get the support and encouragement they need to succeed. The Community Youth Outreach Alliance has done that by coming together with the help of a United Way Grant to fund a Community Resource Center to aid at-risk and homeless young adults who have aged out of the foster care system in transitioning to become successful, functioning adult citizens.


“A history of foster care correlates with becoming homeless at an earlier age and remaining homeless for a longer period of time,” said John Bracken, CEO of Montgomery County Youth Services. “Before we formed the alliance and opened the Community Resource Center, there was little support in Montgomery County for this particularly vulnerable segment of the homeless population. We’ve been encouraged to see how much progress we’ve been able to make in just two short years.”


The award is being presented to the Alliance during a reception at TNOYS’ conference, which is attended each year by hundreds of youth services professionals from across the state and the nation. Along with the Alliance, TNOYS is also recognizing other individuals and organizations in Texas who have shown leadership and dedication in serving youth, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Mary Green of Harris County Protective Services, Yannin Marquez of Texas Panhandle Centers, and Cathy Hamilton of San Antonio Threads. All awardees are highly deserving of the honor and embody the conference’s theme of being “Stronger Together.”


About Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS)

For more than 30 years, TNOYS has been the leading organization working to enhance services for Texas youth who are homeless, in foster care, or at risk, and to support the providers who care for them. The organization takes a comprehensive systems change approach to enhancing critical services for youth and families, focusing on policy advocacy, training and program development for providers, and youth engagement. To learn more about the organization, visitwww.tnoys.org.