Connecting with At-Risk Youth

Outreach & Hospitality Ministry

Over the past several months, the Outreach and Hospitality Ministry has been researching ministries and programs that serve at-risk youth in the Holland community. The Ministry would like to inform Hope Church members of a new program, Holland Youth Connections, and ways to get involved.

Last summer, 12 at-risk teens (14-17 years old) participated in Holland Youth Connections where they worked on two teams doing hands-on work for the City Parks Department and Holland Public Schools. The teens worked limited hours that amounted to earning $100 per week for 10 weeks. At the end of the program, many of the youths said it changed their lives and six were able to find permanent jobs. The program has been praised as a worthwhile investment in the youth of our community that replaces drugs, alcohol and gangs with opportunity.

Program leaders are now looking to expand from 12 youths to 120. But to provide jobs for 120 teens, area employers will need to sign on to mentor a team of youths, and people are needed to sponsor the teens. If you would like to  become a sponsor or if you are able to be a mentor by providing work experience at your business/organization, please contact Angie in the church office at agriffore@hopechurchrca.org or (616) 392-7947. Sponsor/Mentor pledge forms are also available at the Welcome Desk in the Gathering Area.

Additional Outreach Opportunities with At-Risk Youth

ESCAPE Ministries
An Urban Teen and Young Adult Leadership Program
(616) 796-0538

Hope College CASA Program
Children’s After School Achievement
(616) 395-7944
hope.edu/admin/casa

Good Samaritan Ministries  
(616) 392-7159