Through the COVID-19 Crisis, Human Services Agencies like New Horizons have grown in ‘dog years,’ exponentially changing over a short period of time. In six months, New Horizons moved through what felt like three years’ of growth, development and adjustments. In many ways facing these challenges, while attempting to hold high the dignity, safety, and hopes of YYA experiencing homelessness, is why I got into this work.
This season has the ability to make the future cloudy, while making easier days, prior to COVID-19, hard to remember. This Annual Impact Report is our attempt to remember the ‘whole year’ and dream of what we will continue to accomplish together. This year, despite its challenges, is without a doubt a year to celebrate and to hold up in our collective New Horizons’ memories as one of our finest years. The New Horizons community has been a part of something incredible. We stood at the crossroads of a global pandemic, arm in arm with the youth we serve, supported by our New Horizons Community, and we didn’t falter, in fact we thrived.
The crisis facing our city’s homeless youth remains pressing. The youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in Seattle, are arriving at New Horizons with increased levels of trauma, from broken relationships, domestic abuse, mental health concern, and co-occurring substance use disorders.
This year we have continued to be a consistent and safe space for the most vulnerable among us, and while much of the growth we have achieved has aged us in ‘dog years’, it has also taught us that you can do anything with a community like ours behind you.
It is easy to lose yourself in the fog of pessimism, I hope that this note can serve as a reminder that 2020 is not a lost year for us, instead it will continue to be one that sparks optimism and faith that even in the darkest of days we can find hope.
All My Thanks,
Rob Stewart, Executive Director of New Horizons