According to an article published in the Baltimore Sun in 2011, researchers counted 640 homeless or unstably housed young people in Baltimore around the first of the year 2011. In 2009, there were 426 young people between the ages of 13 and 25 who were living on their own without shelter, said Nan Marie Astone, one of the authors of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study. To read more about displaced youth check the Homeless Youth and Young Adults in Baltimore report.
Over the past 2 years ILIA alone has come across dozens of homeless Muslim teens. Some have embraced Islam between the ages of 14 and 18 while incarcerated and have no place to go to after they are released, others have lose their homes due to their parent’s unemployment, domestic abuse, abandonment by a parent or other factors. Homeless teens who have parents are usually separated from their parents when they cannot be admitted to a shelter due to age restrictions. It has become a challenges for our homeless students to continue their classes and education with ILIA without a stable roof over their head.
Business Description: Green Sprouts is a project of the Islamic Leadership Institute of America (ILIA). A 501c(3) educational, research and charitable non-profit organization founded in Maryland. Green Sprouts is a mentoring, coaching and counseling program of 4 tracks serving families and individuals ages 12 and above.
Green Sprouts provides applied and practical leadership-based skills, approaches and concepts to participants in the program. Green Sprouts utilizes the latest state of the art practices in child development, education, psychology and leadership. It shall follow an innovative model based on a framework that best meets the needs of its students. Green Sprouts services are provided to all students who meet eligibility requirements regardless of race, religion, beliefs, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, disability, or status as a veteran.
Background: Mentoring and coaching have proven to be two very effect approaches for counseling. One-on-one relationships provide the mentee with the full attention of the mentor and provide a jumpstart in the mentee’s acquisition of skills, expertise and knowledge.
Green Sprouts is open to all students of all faiths. Many minority groups lack services and programs that cater and understand to their needs. ILIA has been working closely with the African American youth at New Beginnings Juvenile Youth Development Center in Laurel, African American and Immigrants at Howard County Detention Center, South East Asian women at Muslimat Al-Nisaa Women Shelter in Baltimore, African and Caucasian women at Al-Mumtahinah Women and Family Homeless Shelter and many other groups to assist their populations with self-development, character building and leadership capabilities.
Baltimore City is home to hundreds of young Muslim youth who have no access to leadership and character building services, impacting their ability to develop and group in the society. It has been proven that minority groups that are neglected lead to societal problems as witnessed by the young Somali population in Minnesota, some Muslim youth groups in Europe and more recently the starting of young Muslim youth gangs in the DC area. Green Sprouts’s mission is to ensure that the students enrolled in its programming are productive leaders in their communities, participating in the American society and sharing fine values.
Vision: At Green Sprouts we believe in dreaming big, but taking reasonable steps to reach our goals. The long term vision is to develop a center that can serve at least 500 youth per year. The current proposal is for a charter center that can serve 40 non-resident students a day, and 12 resident students at any given time. These students are mostly young (ages 12-18), or college age students (19-22).
Capabilities: Green Sprouts employs state-of-the-art resources, capabilities and approaches in its programming. Services are provided in person, online, outdoors, indoors and in diverse practical settings to enhance the student’s experience. Green Sprouts strives to maintain this level of professionalism by having a physical center dedicated to the program where it can even further leverage its resources and approaches.
Inshaa Allah, the Green Sprouts Center will house a specialized library and media center, the largest in the region specializing in leadership development, capacity building and personal development.
Partnerships: Green Sprouts partners with a vast array of organizations and programs, a few were mentioned earlier, generally speaking our partners are local schools, homeless shelters, detention centers, community centers, faith-based organizations, police departments, medical professionals, for-profit businesses and universities. As the Green Sprouts center develops we will look forward to partner with social service organizations.
- Temporary housing services for students enrolled in Green Sprouts services
- Access to specialized leadership and character building library with books, DVDs, CDs and other multimedia resources for ages 9 +.
- Youth Developmental Activities and Leadership Training Programs for ages 9 – 19
- Field Trips and Leadership Accelerator Programs for Youth ages 13 – 21.
- Youth recreation services such as table air hockey, ping pong, chess, Wii, XBOX and chess.
- Juvenile Reentry Leadership Training & Courses (ages 14 – 18).
- Adult Reentry Leadership Training and Courses (ages 19 +).
- Youth and Family Advisory Services.
- Resume writing and job hunting classes
- Tutoring in Math, Science, English, Arabic, Spanish for students grades 6 – 12
- Tutoring in SAT for students grades 10 – 12
- K-12 School Teacher Leadership Certification Program
- Professional development for business professionals in the areas of management, leadership and capacity building.
Benefits of the Program and Center
- Employment for 2-4 individuals who will operate and manage the center leading to improved economic development in the community
- Educational, recreational and charitable services for approximately 40 youth during operating hours leading to stronger student achievement and lower crime
- Stronger family bonding and structures through training and advisory programs leading to stronger economic health and lower crime
- Access to reentry programs improving chances of reentry, employment and continuing education, leading to lower crime
- Access to charitable services reducing poverty and improving the quality of life of low income families and youth
- Platform to offer ILIA’s mentoring and counseling program Green Sprouts
- Provide opportunities for internships for youth ages 12 – 22.
- Assistance for at-risk youth
Please support this very important project bu volunteering or making a financial contribution here – http://islamicleadership.chipin.com/green-sprouts-phase-1
This project will not only allow housig services for students who need them, but also bring to Baltimore City educational programs as the ones offered below at other locations.