KANSAS CITY, Mo — A local organization has successfully assisted more than 700 homeless youths in Kansas City, providing them with a beacon of hope and a pathway to a brighter future.
HALO has been dedicated to empowering and uplifting disadvantaged children and teenagers both around the Kansas City area and globally. Chief Program Officer Carly Schultz said they've seen the need to grow throughout the years.
"One thing that we have definitely seen is just that no matter what community, there is a great need for youth that are experiencing homelessness or who might be at risk of experiencing homelessness," Schultz said. "Unfortunately, it's a trend that we've seen grow, particularly after the pandemic we saw those numbers increase.”
HALO's efforts are helping hundreds by providing them with a safe place, like the organization's learning center, where these kids can come in and receive a meal, healing, education, but most importantly find a solution to their current living situation.
“Our end goal for Halo Youth is to help them become contributing members of whatever community they want to be a part of, whether that's staying locally here in Kansas City or moving somewhere else in the United States or in the world," Schultz said.
Over the past 18 year since starting their mission, HALO has seen a surge in demand for their services, reflecting the harsh realities faced by many young people in our community who find themselves without a stable home. Their commitment to making a meaningful impact has resulted in an impressive outreach, ensuring that no youth is left without assistance.
"A lot of times when kids show up at our doors they're feeling pretty hopeless," Schultz said. "It could be just that they don't have anybody in their corner, and that's what our staff are here for."
Their work has been recognized by top names like Oprah Winfrey, who donated two handbags to be auctioned. All of those proceeds go towards their newest project that will help house boys and girls while also expanding their learning center.
“Oprah has been a wonderful support, and it's just good to help really get the mission of Halo out there, because these are just the most deserving kids all across the world," Schultz said. "It means a lot to have that level of support."
While HALO keeps moving forward to address youth homelessness in Kansas City, the group is urging the community to work together to make a long-lasting difference. HALO, which has already impacted over 700 lives, hopes that one day all young people in Kansas City won't have to face the difficult obstacles of homelessness on their own.
If you would like to donate, you can help out by visiting HALO's website.